Artfully Yours – Sheikha Alyazia bint Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan

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Art, in any form, brings about a wealth of emotions. With the UAE establishing itself as an art hub, we speak to the women behind the most prominent creative institutions to find out what art means to them

Sheikha Alyazia bint Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan


Abu Dhabi positions itself as the art capital of the UAE with three major museums – The Louvre Abu Dhabi, the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi and Sheikh Zayed museum. More, the Emirate saw the launch of Intersections, the debut book of HH Sheikha Alyazia bint Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan. It was launched at the Abu Dhabi Art Fair 2014.

One of the region’s most talented artists to emerge in recent years, Sheikha Alyazia’s artwork is highly distinctive, conveying a unique view of the world. Intersections presents a body of Sheikha Alyazia’s work that represents a new wave of Emirati art and bridges the gap between the old and the new. In his foreword, Sheikha Alyazia’s father, His Highness Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, UAE Minister for Youth, Culture and Community Development, describes her work as displaying ‘a unique mixture of creativity, imagination, ingenuity, and artistic skill. It cunningly engages the world around us’. Sheikha Alyazia grew up in an artistic family. From an early age, she displayed a talent for art, painting pictures on her bedroom walls as a child. She then studied art at Zayed Academy School where she honed her skills to develop her language of art. She credits her mother and father for providing an atmosphere conducive to the development of her skills.

Sheikha Alyazia’s artistic talent continued to grow, and she went on to study art at Zayed Academy School, where she would develop her form. Sheikha Alyazia’s work has been a prominent feature at several art exhibitions in the United Arab Emirates, including Art Dubai and Emirati Expressions: Realised, in Abu Dhabi. She hosted her debut solo exhibition, Dialogue, in 2011 at Artspace, Dubai. Sheikha Alyazia lives in Abu Dhabi with her husband and four children.

The book is dedicated to HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, ‘Mother of the Nation’ and is divided into dialogue, final scene, moment, carrom station, spontaneity, leading labels, firsts, safe trip and exploration. Each section starts with an introduction and a set of paintings created by Sheikha Alyazia.

By Manju Ramanan