Wide appeal – International art in the UAE

Swiss Art Gate UAE is an organisation that works to bring cultural platforms to Swiss and other international artists from which they can share their work with the wider Middle East region. Vision.ae takes a look at the most recent offerings and finds out more about the gallery’s objectives

One of Swiss Art Gate UAE’s main objectives is to create a connection between international artists and the UAE. Its projects aim to attract locals, expats and tourists, as well as art lovers and collectors.

Founded in 2008, the UAE-based organisation initiates cultural and educational projects throughout the country, with a focus on the works and performances by Swiss and Arab artists in music, visual arts, dance, literature, drama, film and news media.

During the traditionally quiet summer months Swiss Art Gate UAE is one of the few organisations in Abu Dhabi to stage new exhibitions and art-based projects.

The latest is a display of Swiss artist Jean-Marc Schwaller's oil and watercolour paintings at Emirates Palace entitled The Rhythm of Earth – Passage, a collection that has arrived from the Broadway Gallery New York.

Speaking of his unusual technique, Schwaller said: “I work on the ground and paint with my whole body. The iridescence that emanates from my paintings depends on the colour and gesture. What I seek in painting is colour and light.”

British-born Charlotte Simpson is another of Swiss Art Gates featured artists, and currently has a photography exhibition at Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi. Her collection documents a journey taken through the Masai Mara, Kenya and consists of spectacular close-ups of her encounters with wildlife.

Simpson recently spoke of her experiences in the game park, saying: “Capturing wildlife takes a lot of patience – waiting for the perfect image (that you may or may not get) requires focus and dedication. The example of the lion standing, took me a whole afternoon of watching and waiting and I couldn't believe my eyes when he looked at me in such a majestic way.”

Crossroads7 - A Journey through the Masai Mara by Charlotte Simpson runs until 10 September 2012

Jean-Marc Schwaller's The Rhythm of Earth – Passage runs until 20 November 2012