Under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Shamsa bint Hamdan Al Nahyan, NYU Abu Dhabi (NYUAD), in partnership with Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation (ADMAF), has announced the winners of the ninth edition of The Christo and Jeanne-Claude Award 2021. The winning trio are architecture students from the American University of Sharjah (AUS): Nour Elbery and Marawan Mahmoud from Egypt, as well as Rashid Modibbo from Nigeria.
Their winning submission, titled Cocoon, seeks to demonstrate how yesterday and tomorrow merge into one another, blurring time and rhythm, and forcing us to reflect on our shared experience of the pandemic, both individually and collectively. The installation will be available for viewing in November.
H.E. Huda I. Alkhamis-Kanoo, Founder of the Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation, said: “The Christo and Jeanne-Claude Award is a core part of ADMAF’s 25-year commitment to cultivating the UAE’s creative ecosystem. We believe that prominent platforms for the nation’s young artists to exhibit their work, along with guidance and support, are essential to the health of culture and the arts. This year has shown us the importance of both solidarity and art in times of uncertainty, and we are delighted to continue our partnership with Christo and NYU Abu Dhabi to bring the winning project, Cocoon, to life. The project highlights our shared experience of the pandemic as well as the power of creative expression to inspire us. We congratulate American University of Sharjah students Nour Elbery, Marawan Mahmoud and Rashid Modibbo on this outstanding work.”
The winning artists have been awarded USD10,000 to complete their installation with the guidance of experts including the artists’ mentor, Architecture Professor at AUS Gregory Watson, Award’s Director Emily Doherty, The NYUAD Art Gallery team, NYUAD’s Visual Arts faculty, and the award team at ADMAF.
Members of this year’s selection committee included ADMAF Founder H.E. Huda Ibrahim Alkhamis, NYUAD Interim Dean of Arts and Humanities Awam Amkpa, Director of Abu Dhabi Art Dyala Nusseibeh, and artist Azza Al Qubaisi.
The Christo and Jeanne-Claude Award is open to UAE-based students and recent graduates and was established as a launch pad for visual artists across the Emirates, encouraging new artwork and offering winners an insight into professional life as an artist from commission to exhibition.
Christo and Jeanne-Claude made monumental works on a huge scale for over half a century, including the wrapping of The Reichstag in Berlin and The Gates in Central Park, New York. Their drawings are held by most major museums, galleries, and collections around the world, including Guggenheim New York, Tate London, and the Centre Pompidou Paris. The work is also held by many major corporate collections.
Christo was committed to supporting the next generation of artists and creative practitioners in the United Arab Emirates and The Christo and Jeanne-Claude Award was established almost a decade ago, to cultivate creativity across the emirates.