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Eight-metre-tall Matter Bin Lahej sculpture unveiled at City Walk

The National 2018-10-09 11:56:02
‘Aya’ by Emirati Artist Mattar Bin Lahej uses more than four tonnes of stainless steel, and is inspired by a verse in the Holy Qura’an. It stretches eight metres high and six metres wide on either side of the mosque at City Walk. Antonie Robertson / The National

Only a few years after opening, City Walk is already home to more than a dozen pieces of public art, and last night a fresh new work was revealed.

Aya by Emirati artist Mattar Bin Lahej is eight metres tall, and crafted from more than four tonnes of stainless steel - it sits atop water and uses the classic Arabic font 'thuluth' to create a sense of waves and movement.

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES. 08 OCTOBER 2018. Unveiling ceremony of art installation ‘Aya’ by Emirati Artist Mattar Bin Lahej. “Using over four tonnes of stainless steel, Aya creates the perfect balance between the eye of the beholder and its own surroundings. Inspired by a verse in the Holy Qura’an, the magnificent sculpture stretches eight metres high and six metres wide on either side of the mosque at City Walk.” (Photo: Antonie Robertson/The National) Journalist: None. Section: Arts & Culture.

You will find the new work by Bin Lahej near City Walk's modern rust-brown mosque, which is nestled behind the main plaza.

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES. 08 OCTOBER 2018. Unveiling ceremony of art installation ‘Aya’ by Emirati Artist Mattar Bin Lahej. “Using over four tonnes of stainless steel, Aya creates the perfect balance between the eye of the beholder and its own surroundings. Inspired by a verse in the Holy Qura’an, the magnificent sculpture stretches eight metres high and six metres wide on either side of the mosque at City Walk.” (Photo: Antonie Robertson/The National) Journalist: None. Section: Arts & Culture.

"Aya is another milestone in my quest to leave a mark in the world of Arabic art," said Bin Lahej, who is the founder of Marsam Mattar, a gallery and organisation that supports UAE artists.

"My artwork is the outcome of several elements – my surrounding environment and the indelible impressions people, places, events and memories have on my mind," he said. "Through my work, I aim to fuel an interest in current and future generations to see beyond the now and the expected."

Another place you can see works by Bin Lahej is Jumeirah Al Naseem hotel, which is home to one of his distinct blue horse paintings:

As well as a calligraphic sculpture depicting a poem by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai:

And a striking caravan of steel camels at the entrance:

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Read more:

A brush with nature: Artist Matt Ryder on capturing the UAE's hidden beauty

Two new books investigate the rhythm in Emirati Arabic

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