'Coffee Shop Whispers' at Coral Beach Resort - Sharjah

Top Quote Coral Beach Resort - Sharjah will be showcasing the works of Stephanie Neville, a well-known South African artist based in the UAE, from May 1 to 31. End Quote
  • (1888PressRelease) April 20, 2011 - Coral Beach Resort - Sharjah will be showcasing the works of Stephanie Neville, a well-known South African artist based in the UAE, from May 1 to 31. Change and vitality are at the core of Stephanie's artwork with a sizeable part of the 20 pieces themed 'Coffee Shop Whispers,' centered on the coffee culture prevalent in the Emirates. Stephanie is adept at using different media in her paintings and sculptures, ranging from acrylic, oils to recycled objects, plaster of Paris, fabric and food items. She is focusing on themes that include traditional food items in her latest collection.

    Elaborating on her idea Stephanie said: "I have tried to give a 'local feel' to the exhibition, as it is happening in Sharjah - the cultural capital of the UAE. Everyone I know in the UAE loves coffee and it is a regular pastime to join friends, or colleagues in a coffee shop. I have also noticed a lot of Emiratis using the coffee shop for meetings. So, I came upon the idea of adding coffee, sugar and salts to my paints. The grains lend a lot of texture to the works, the colour is rich from dark brown to black, with a glossy finish. Interestingly, the smell of coffee still lingers on the works."

    Stephanie will exhibit the themed pieces in the coffee shop of the hotel. The rest of the exhibition will focus on contemporary African works relating to memories of her home country: the sights, sounds and colours of the vibrant and versatile people, the history of apartheid and the hopes and dreams of the future.

    Coral Beach Hotel Sharjah will also be holding an arts and crafts workshop for hotel guests and club members during the exhibition. Though visit to the exhibition is absolutely free, there will be a participation charge to attend the workshops to cover the costs of the material used. The two-hour workshops will be held once a week in the mornings (dates for these are still to be finalized).

    Please find below an interesting Q & A with Stephanie Neville

    When did you begin painting or develop an interest for art?

    I have always drawn and painted. My mother is a designer/ dress maker so I grew up in her dressing room, making my own doll clothes and drawing princesses! I had art as a major in school and am now finally studying my Bachelor of Visual Arts through UNISA.

    What is your favourite medium? What are the media you have used until now?

    My favourite media is acrylic, with added elements to create various textures - mixed media. I really enjoy painting with oils as well, it lends a wonderful blend to the work and the richness of the colours is beautiful. Lately I have expanded into animation and video installations. I am in the beginner phase of experimenting with these technologically based mediums. It is the most challenging medium that I have attempted.

    Can you provide more details about the exhibition?

    The exhibition will be on display 24 hours and the hotel reception will handle queries or sales. I am exhibiting around 20 artworks, of various sizes. The size of the artworks bear in mind the local community that uses the hotel and hotel guests - for the ease of travelling with smaller artworks.

    Having exhibited extensively in the UAE, what are your thoughts on the art scene in this country?

    The art scene in the UAE is getting exciting. There is a selection of galleries in Dubai and I am looking forward to the developments in Abu Dhabi. Sharjah, where I live, is very inspiring and I visit the Sharjah Art Museum area regularly. However, I find that it is very difficult for upcoming local international artists to find an outlet for our work. If we do not organize our own exhibitions we have very few options. It seems to be all about networking with the right contacts. Coral Beach Resort and the Coral Hotels and Resorts as a group are much appreciated by local artists as they give us an opportunity to showcase our work to a wider audience. Their support is extremely important.

    Is there a lot of interest for art among the new generation?

    Definitely. I have had the opportunity to hold workshops in schools for children of various ages and there are so many talented kids out there! I am amazed and inspired by them. Among adults, I feel they want to express themselves. There are so many varieties of arts (and crafts) that do not necessarily need a lot of talent to practice - just inspiration and experimentation. Creativity can be so freeing.

    Are the art workshops open only for beginners?

    They will be open to all levels. It will be based on creativity enhancement rather than a specific painting class, to fit the requirements of in-house guests at the hotel. However, advanced painting classes can always be arranged. The focus will remain on basic elements of compositions, colour theories, creating textures, expanding creativity by using various different objects from regular life to create artworks or in paint applications. We will also deal with clay modeling and create some 3D works.

    For more information call +9716 5229999 or visit www.coral-beachresortsharjah.com

    For media contact:
    Hina Bakht
    Vice President
    MPJ (Marketing Pro-Junction)
    Mob: 050 697 5146
    h.bakht ( @ ) mpj-pr dot com

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