Archive for November, 2010

Whistlestop trip

November 15, 2010

As we will be leaving Abu Dhabi in the new year, our residence permits have now been cancelled. We set off bright and early this morning to do a visa-run to Oman, so that when we returned to the UAE would get a visitors visa, valid for one month. We will have 2 more such runs to do before we finally fly out at the end of January. An hour and a half scrum at the Omani border, and we then drove on down to Al Sulayf, just outside Ibri, looking just the same as when we last visited about 8 years ago. Looking at the paintings I did after the last visit I see they are in fact dated 2000. I dont date work on the front any more, but it is useful sometimes !  

    It was a round trip of       about 650 Kms.

I’m so glad we made it this time as the whole ruined city is set for ‘restoration’ but, if the UAE is any example to go by, it is usually total rebuilding – obliterating all signs of age and the wonderful patina that makes these things so beautiful.  It’s a good job there arent any Roman ruins in the UAE they would all be standing upright again, with chips smoothed out, and probably repainted white ! God forbid.

This is what it looks like now, ten years on –  there are not many changes, apart from the roof being gone, but now the ‘restoration’ team is on site this tranquil collapsing village is doomed ! R.I.P. Al Sulayf.                         Al Sulayf was built in 1718 by Al Immam Sayf bin Sultan Al Y’aribi.


Decay, decomposition, erosion

November 1, 2010

As I’ve said before I like old-looking stuff. Rust, peeling paint, creases and crinkles. One ongoing theme that I have been working on, for ages really,  is decay and erosion on patterns. Usually Islamic patterns turning into organic forms. Rigid islamic patterns being taken over, eroded,  by spreading organic mud !  Freud would probably have a field day with that !

I liked this collagraph plate enough to paint on it and just leave it as a relief picture…which then leads on to more of the same….

different sizes..



I love this job !