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(Un)common Threads focuses on textiles, the oldest form of visual narrative

The show marks the launch of a creative new platform, established to advocate for artists and designers in the Global South

This year, Dubai’s Art Week is defined by a new concept. Homegrown, disruptive and dedicated to advocating for creative communities in the Global South, DESIGNEAST launches their community platform with an art show – ‘(Un)common Threads‘ – presented in partnership with Alserkal Avenue.

Featuring 17 installations and works from 19 different creatives, the show represents work from across the Global South, including the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Palestine, Egypt, Lebanon, Pakistan and Sri Lanka,  each handmade piece tells the story of the artist’s vision and the infinite variations of how a life, a community and its values can be woven into a single moment.

Rue Kothari _ Founder of DESIGNEAST - portrait
Rue Kothari, Founder & Creative Director of DESIGNEAST

DESIGNEAST is driven by a passion for design and a desire to help emerging creative communities to thrive in the global market,” says Rue Kothari, Founder and Creative Director of DESIGNEAST.

“Our mission is to elevate these artists and designers, to educate the wider market on their unique value and to help connect the two via digital content and real world pop-ups. We want to be the virtual hub for the design industry in the East, much like Milan has been traditionally to the West.” she continues.

(Un)common Threads’ focuses on textiles as an underexposed medium, the oldest form of visual narrative and one uniquely able to translate the nuances of culture, environment and technique. The show will explore how textiles intersect with architecture, art, fashion, interiors, sound and tech, through strange materials, found fibres, organic matter and traditionally woven threads.

Uncommon Threads by DESIGNEAST _ handmade rug _ Inaash Foundation
Handmade Wall Panel by Inaash Foundation

We wanted to challenge our artists to push the parameters of what is possible and what we understand about textiles and weaving, to experiment with space, dimension, beauty and materiality – to create something truly unexpected.” Rue Kothari explains.

Alongside established artists including Ghizlane Sahli, Zak Ové and Samia Halaby, they will introduce new talents and collaborations that destroy the ephemeral boundaries between creative disciplines. The full roster is available to view on DESIGNEAST official website.

10 DOHA HIGHYWAYS (BLACK + NEUTRAL + NEON GREEN) by Maryam Al Homaid _ Handmade Textile
10 DOHA HIGHYWAYS by Maryam Al Homaid

The show will open on February 26th with an invite-only evening reception at A1 Warehouse in Alserkal Avenue and is held with the support of the UAE’s most significant cultural presence, Alserkal. It will be open daily from 11am to 7pm until 5th March.

The Alserkal Avenue launch marks the first in a series of DESIGNEAST exhibitions, with legacy planning already in place for forthcoming pop-ups in London, China and the US.


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