Exclusive interview: Emirati artist on importance of art in hotel interiors

Exclusive interview: Emirati artist on importance of art in hotel interiors

Featuring works of three Middle Eastern artists, the new Noon Art Boutique Apartments uses art as a central concept, aiming to support local art and culture in the region.

The three artists involved in the project include Emirati Dr Najat Meky, Ali Hassan from Qatar and Tunisian artist Khaled Ben Simane. Works of the individual artists are presented on different levels of the hotel, as well as the lobby where the idea of art and interiors seamlessly blend together.

DesignMENA managed to catch up with Dr Najat Meky to discuss the importance of art work in hotel interiors and learn the ideas behind her works.

“Most hotels in the Middle East do not give any interest to the artwork as they are purely commercially driven and look to spending little and gaining the maximum, and buying expensive pieces of art work does not fall into that idea,” said Dr Meky.

Commenting on the notion behind Noon, Dr Meky said: “It is a very creative idea not only for Dubai but for the entire Middle East and it’s a great way to bring people close to art. This is something that is missing in the region and Noon creates a chance for people to understand the value of the works.”

The Emirati culture is a major influence in the artists works with focus on environmental elements of the Gulf such as the sea and desert.

“I choose specific shapes and patterns especially for Noon to make the visitors aware of our culture and help them feel part of our country,” she explained.

Feminine figures are also dominant in her pieces across the hotel, present on headboards of beds in the hotel rooms, on chairs as well on larger scale features such as the columns in the lobby.

“I use images of women in my art because I want to show the ambition and hope Arab women have, and also to prove they have an important role to play in society,” she said.

The works of the three artists were assembled together by the hotel’s in-house design and managerial team so it was a surprise for the artist to see everything  together as a single piece.

“It was a very good experience [working alongside fellow Arab artists], and even though we did not met in person, our art did, and so I’m really proud to see my work alongside such valuable pieces like [the ones in the hotel].

“I was surprised when I saw the hotel with all our work together, because it looks like one big, unique ensemble.”

Dr. Najat Meky is recognised worldwide in and outside of the Arab world as one of the leading Emirati contemporary artists. Born in  Dubai in 1956, Meky was the first Emirati woman to be granted government scholarship to study art abroad.

She has held numerous solo exhibitions and art workshops and received various awards since 1997, her latest being the Arab Woman Awards in the Art category.

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