Court Art

Court Art , curated by The Majlis Gallery, is the perfect amalgam of art and architecture. The beautiful courtyard brings out the unheard stories of various local and regional artists that contribute its presence to the discreet elegance of Park Hyatt Dubai’s interior.


The New Orientalist collection was inaugrated on the evening of 18 May 2016 where art aficionados gathered for a cocktail reception and an introduction to fellow art connoisseurs for the most recent vernissage of Court Art. 


Artist biographies


Alexander Creswell

Alexander Creswell’s early years as the son of a diplomat instilled in him a love of travel and the observation of diverse cultures, observations that he recorded intuitively in sketch books and on scraps of paper. Largely self taught he has become one of today’s most revered and collectible watercolour artists. He is noted above all else for his splendid series of commissions carried out for the British Royal Family and for his haunting paintings of and books on “The Silent Houses of Britain."


Ben Hubbard

Born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago, Ben was introduced to art an early age through his artist father, Lew Hubbard. Greatly influenced by his father’s masterful work and surrounded by images of paintings by Sargent, Homer, and N.C. Wyeth the young Ben spent many hours drawing and painting.


Daniel Wegera 

Born in Paris, Daniel Wegera spent part of his youth in Algeria. Impressed by the beauty of the Mediterranean architecture and landscaping - a source of inspiration for many renowned 19th century painters (Delacroix, Corot and Chasseriau), he developed a passion for art as a self-taught painter. During his stay in the Far East, in the nineties, he produced a number of paintings, which were exhibited in Jakarta and Singapore.


David Paskett

Renowned Worldwide for his telling depictions of all that is China, David has found fresh inspiration in the United Arab Emirates.


“I was drawn to the waterways and quay sides of the Creek, the Souks and bazaars, the elegance of the Al Fahedi Historic Neighbourhood with its sunlit courtyards and dramatic shadows. I often found myself looking down from balconies and through narrow alleyways upon daily tasks being performed with both old buildings and modern architecture as a backdrop.”


Elected to the Royal Water Colour Society in 2001, David became Vice-President in 2007, and served as President from 2009 to 2012.


John Harris

After a classic art school training at Cardiff College of Art John spent 25 years in art education in Wales, Malawi and England, becoming a full time painter in 1986. His wife Stella and both his sons are also artists. A member of The Royal Society of Watercolour Artists and past winner of The Welsh Artist of the year and The Elgar Prize John is based in Worcestershire but spends much of his time travelling overseas, anywhere where he can find wide open spaces.


John Raynes

John Raynes A.R.C.A., R.I. who was born in Australia in 1929, he has been resident in England since the thirties. He studied art at both St Albans School of Art and The Royal College of Art between 1951-57. He lives in Falmouth but still travels widely in Europe.


June Bartlett

June Bartlett first arrived in the U.A.E. in 1979 when she showed her work at a British Trade Fair in Dubai. Since then she has regularly exhibited at The Majlis Gallery.


She is known predominantly as a landscape painter but she is also highly regarded for her portraiture. In 1980 she was commissioned to paint the portrait of HH Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, President of the U.A.E. and Ruler of Abu Dhabi, and has since completed portraits of HH Sheikh Isa bin Sulman Al Khalifa of Bahrain, (1983) and HM Sultan Qaboos bin Said of Oman, (1995). In 2000 an extensive tour of Jordan was arranged by the Diwan – resulting in June painting twelve landscapes for the Royal Court, Amman. 2007 saw June taking off for Syria. A solo exhibition of her now historic Syrian paintings was held at The Mathaf Gallery in London in 2009. H.E. Sami Khiyami, Syrian Ambassador to the UK officially opened the exhibition.


Kevin Dean 

Kevin Dean graduated from The Royal College of Art in 1982 he has illustrated numerous publications, designed textiles, murals and decorations for architecture.


His keen interest in the environment, flora and fauna is reflected in much of his work. Working with Fantini Mosaici of Milan, Kevin created the unique floral design for the marble floor of the 18,000 sq m Sahan or courtyard in The Grand Mosque Abu Dhabi. He has also designed other large floors and archways within the mosque in collaboration with the international architects Spatium, Milan. The Grand Mosque opened in March 2008.


Louis Jansen Van Vurren

Louis Jansen van Vuuren is a world renowned artist Who has exhibited extensively in major cities around the globe, including Londen, Paris, New York, Sydney, Miami, Washington, Monte Carlo, Johannesburg, Cape Town and Dubai.


While exploring his familiar themes of interior/exterior views through a window, often focusing on exotic architecture and foreign destinations to which he has travelled, Jansen van Vuuren turns his attention in this exhibition to the subject of the enchanted garden, contrasting the visually evocative elements of Ottoman patternmaking with images of fragrant flowers and exotic ripe fruit.


Lloyd Le Blanc

We first exhibited for Lloyd back in the late 1990’s specifically at The New Orientalists exhibition sponsored by The British Council and The British Embassy in 1997. It is no mean feat transporting large sculptures around the world but here is an artist totally unafraid of big challenges. Alison especially likes the following description of Lloyd and his work written by Ken Ford who was also a tutor of hers.


Lynette Ten Krooden 

Lynette ten Krooden is often categorised as a “landscape artist.” This narrow definition, of this well travelled and scholarly artist is perhaps too restrictive.


Lynette’s works penetrate deeper than mere representations of landscape and become vehicles for her exploration of symbols and spiritual dwellings with a metaphysical quality. Twentyfive years of travel and research into fossil life, ancient civilisations, their petro glyphs and cultures has resulted in Lynette forming a universal mythology which she utilizes as a forum for discourse. Within this context, she often explores microscopic and macroscopic aspects of nature as a reflection of human communication with the earth, with each other and with their gods.


Martin Giesen 

Born and schooled in Germany, Martin Giesen started to paint at age 15. After school he studied art history at Heidelberg University. For a year he interned at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York followed by the completion of a PhD.


With marriage and children, Giesen entered into a career of university teaching. He has taught in Lebanon (AUB 1973-85), Saudi Arabia, Canada, and since 1997 in the UAE, where he was founding dean of the School of Architecture & Design at the American University of Sharjah. For some 35 years, Giesen has produced and exhibited watercolor paintings documenting the impact of development on the environment. His paintings produced in Lebanon during the years of the civil war received critical acclaim. His work has been shown in solo exhibits in Lebanon, Germany, Canada and the UAE. David Tannous, Washington corresponding editor for Art in America, called Giesen a “contemporary orientalist”.


Michael Rumsby 

Michael F Rumsby (UK, 1968) has painted since childhood. After an international career in business he decided in 2010 to focus on painting and ‘release the colorful muddle that is my mind’. He also travels extensively in search of external inspiration.


Born and raised in rural, coastal Suffolk (UK), Michael forged his distinct relationship with color, and its role for him as an escape mechanism, at a very young age. That relationship has since manifested itself in works that bring a refreshing dynamic and narrative to the canvas.


In 2014 Michael came, for the first time, to Dubai in pursuit of new inspiration. Fascinated by the region’s richness and constantly evolving environment, Michael now splits his time between France and Dubai. His work continues to take on a vibrant and fluid hue that interprets the rich landscapes of two such diverse places.


Nick Bashall 

Born in England and raised in Zimbabwe, Nick Bashall studied law at Cambridge University where he was also a Boxing Blue. After several years as a practicing lawyer in The United Arab Emirates where he exhibited as a “Friday painter” with The Majlis Gallery, he changed career and spent five years in Mallorca, studying portrait painting under Joaquim Torrens Llado.


Paul Wadsworth

For Paul, painting is just as much concerned with the physical and sensuous properties of the paint itself as it is with expressing a personal response to things felt and seen. Inspired by the coast and landscapes of Cornwall and The Middle East, his work is essentially about capturing moments, feelings and emotions rather than meticulously depicting a particular view of place. In order to respond and create in this way, he prefers to complete as much of the painting as possible on site, where he is surrounded by the elements that consistently motivate and energize his work.


Spencer Tart 

Spencer W Tart (also known as Bill ) was born in Chesterfield, England. Hequalified as an architect and worked for many years in Canada and the USA before returning to Bath, England where he now lives.


In 1980 Spencer was invited to work as an architect on a conservation study of the historic city of Old Jeddah in Saudi Arabia. This was his first introduction to the Middle East, which has remained the main subject matter of his work. Whilst sketching and painting was always a small part of his work as an architect, this quickly became more serious and interest in his watercolour paintings grew quickly during the 1980’s.


Sue Casson

Sue traces her love of the outdoors and wildlife to Kenya where she was raised and lived for twenty three years. The Public response to exhibitions of her work in the Kings Road, Chelsea encouraged her to take up art as a career in 1972. In order to refine her technique, she studied painting in oils under Robin Goodwin who also instructed David Shepherd. In the mid 70’s she returned to Kenya. Here she had the ideal opportunity to paint and observe animals at close quarters. Since 1980, Sue has been based in the Cotswold’s, England, making frequent trips abroad for exhibitions and to gather material. She now concentrates on Arabian subject matter, portraits, wildlife, dogs and landscapes. Her drawings are in conté chalk, ink and watercolour.


Sophie Walbeoff

British born artist Sophie Walbeoffe has painting in her veins. Her French great grandparents were both painters living in Antibes, France during 1920s. Her great uncle established the Courtauld Institute of Art. She studied painting at the Wimbledon School of Art.


Sophie arrived in Dubai as a painter in the late 80s, drawn by stories of the desert landscapes and the Bedouins who have gracefully managed to maintain their traditions. Whilst painting in Dubai for two years she learnt about British explorer Wilfred Thesiger, and subsequently in 1988 when she was the official artist for Operation Raleigh in Kenya, she met Wilfred and painted his portrait.


Sylvie Woodcock Clarke

A native of Scotland with a home in Cyprus and a strong affinity with the Middle East, Sylvia delights in capturing the extraordinary actions of ordinary people.


A very serious painter who strongly believes that art need not always be about serious subjects. She has an incredible capacity for visual recall, with a mind like a
sketch book, full of moments witnessed and experienced, drawings and paintings flow in her bold fluid style, a product of years of working at her craft.


Trevor Waugh

Born in London in 1952 Trevor studied at the Slade School of Fine Art from 1970 to 1974, amongst his tutors were Sir William Coldstream and David Hockney. He graduated with a BA in Fine Arts and then went on to study illustration under Ernest Jones at Croydon College of Art gaining a distinction. Obviously a tal-ented young man he then spent 9 years working as freelance illustrator for Penguin, Heineman, Cassell, Collins and the BBC returning to Fine Art in 1988 when he moved to the Cotswolds.


About The Majlis Gallery

The Majlis Gallery, opened its doors as an art gallery in 1989. Its mission was to promote the works of artists of international standing and to become a meeting place for creative minds. The gallery has evolved into one of Dubai’s premier fine art galleries, a true haven for artists and art lovers alike. A Majlis is defined as a meeting place or common ground. Over the years The Majlis Gallery has more than fulfilled that description. Hosting numerous solo and group exhibitions, the gallery has been responsible for introducing many of the regions finest artists to the cultural stage. In a fast moving city The Majlis Gallery has earned its reputation for enduring quality and a reputation for representing the best of local and international artists in a welcoming and unique environment.

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