I SPENT Monday in Dubai with my colleagues Kelly, Rasha and Rym, first at the Mall of the Emirates and then at the B21 Gallery in the industrial area of Al Quoz where we attended the preview show of Palestinian artist Jeffar Khaldi.
At the mall, Rasha and I spent an hour and a half at the Cafe Ceramique painting ceramics. The cafe has a selection of ceramic objects that one can choose from and then paint. The shop then fires them in a kiln that they have in the back, and after a week they can be picked up.
I chose a big mug and painted it in multi-colored stripes. Rasha chose a large goblet and painted it in a style that I could only describe as “vaginal” because of the various shades of pink that she used to paint with.
The ceramic pieces are not cheap. My mug was priced at Dh72 ($20) and Rasha’s goblet was Dh71. Despite the prices, we enjoyed being creative for a change and found it really fun and relaxing.
Kelly then joined us and we drove to the Al Quoz area for the Khaldi exhibition. The B21 Gallery is surprisingly small, but an arts writer told me that it was considered rather a good space for Dubai.
The paintings were disturbing, with many references to the violence wrecked on the Palestinians by the Israeli occupation.