Irthi imbues Emirati heritage crafts with modern designs and techniques at ongoing exhibition and workshops

Irthi imbues Emirati heritage crafts with modern designs and techniques at ongoing exhibition and workshops

Emirati artisans come together at Etihad Towers to display age-old creative techniques blended in modernity for futuristic zeal and appeal

Sharjah, November 25, 2022

As part of its vision and mission to revitalise and preserve local crafts and traditions, Irthi Contemporary Crafts Council, a NAMA Women Advancement affiliate, is offering a unique opportunity for the public to expand their craft vocabulary and learn, experience and exhibit their craftworks on Emirati culture and heritage.

Emphasising the importance of merging modern designs and heritage crafts, the council is holding multiple streams of workshops to train participants in synthesising new-age aesthetics with rich handcrafting traditions of the MENASEA and Central Asian regions. Being held at Etihad Towers until December 4, the workshops are also part of the UAE’s 51st National Day celebrations.

Avenue exhibition

Visitors can walk through the exhibition held alongside the workshops at Etihad Towers where they can also shop for local handicrafts created by Irthi’s women artisans.

Irthi’s Series collection — Thaya, Alia bin Omair, Abdulla Al Mulla Seats, Stationary, Nada Debs, Publications, Moui and Nadd, Ghaya Bin Mesmar’s Safeefah Chairs — are on display at the venue for visitors to get a closer look at the talents of Emirati women artisans who are enthusiastically working towards protecting their craft while also modernising their techniques in craft.

Home decor items including furniture, flower arrangements, coffee table display designs all gleam in pride to project its pride in representing the nation. Other exhibits include Emirati handicrafts merged to integrate the aesthetics of modern day culture and elegance. Potteries, handwoven rugs, belts and bracelets, as well as puppets adorned in traditional wears, are also on display for visitors to learn more about the culture of early people who lived on this land centuries ago.

Contemporary Heritage workshops

As part of its latest training initiative, a workshop titled ‘Flower Bouquet Arrangement’ in collaboration with Gosha Studio, participants will learn to adorn flower arrangements blending it with centuries-old Emirati crafts of Safafah and Talli. In a second workshop ‘Embroider on Your Tote Bag’, women will learn to embroider indigenous designs on their tote bags mentored by Irthi artisans to create customised design collections that will be later on display at the exhibition.

The ‘Clay Workshop’ will exchange the knowledge of indigenous craft production techniques from Emirati craftswomen skilled at making figurines and structures unique to the region. In the ‘Wooden Chair by Hirfati’ workshop, weaving techniques using yarns and scrapes of fabric will be taught to participants who will then use it to decorate wooden chairs trained by representatives from Hirfati Youth Programme.

Irthi will also hold workshops to Demonstrate Talli and Safafah techniques to make bracelets and other traditional crafts relevant to present-day products merging modern design aesthetics with transitional blends.

Registrations are open for those interested in taking part in Irthi’s workshops and learning more about Emirati culture and its crafts. For registration, please contact the What’sApp number: 06 504 8016


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