Chalk and Cheese at Corp Executive Hotel Apartments - Al Barsha - Dubai

Top Quote Portraits, flowers, seascapes, landscapes and desert wildlife - all coexist in vibrant colour on large canvases at a joint exhibition by Helena Fann and Christopher Southcombe coming up at Corp Executive Hotel Apartments in Al Barsha. Called Chalk and Cheese, the two-week show will open on November 2 and run until November 15, 2011, and is supported by Dubai International Art Centre (DIAC). End Quote
  • (1888PressRelease) October 14, 2011 - While Helena is partial to people - portraits and colour, Christopher is fascinated by landscapes, scenery and wildlife and knows no boundaries and is equally at home on stormy seas and in the depths of the silent Sahara desert. Vibrant colours and cheerful images abound in the collection that has more than 30 signature pieces on display at Caffeine - the hotel's chic coffee shop. These can be seen at any time and at leisure since Caffeine is open round the clock.

    Aamir Pervez, General Manager of Corp Executive Hotel Apartments, Al Barsha, said, "We believe Art is pivotal to the success of any hotel as it brings people of different cultures together adding life and enriching the atmosphere. At Corp we have a philosophy of promoting artists and have been regularly staging new and innovative exhibitions which have been very well received by our guests as well as the local community. Chalk and Cheese by Helena and Christopher is a very special show and is bound to please our clientele."

    Ayesha Chen McKeever, Manager at DIAC, said, "Christopher has an entirely different way of looking at the world and goes into such details that it is truly astonishing. Though he respects the artistic legacy of his times, he is not dictated by any particular style. Equally refreshing and seductive are the works of Helena who is a highly progressive artist. Winsome and captivating, her canvases are totally unpretentious and vibrate with life."

    Here's a brief Q & A with the two artists:

    Q & A with Helena Fann

    Q: When and how did you start painting?

    Helena: I started drawing at the age of four, and went to children's art lessons once a week from a very young age. Drawing has always been my passion and I started painting at Art School in the late 1960s but never painted again until about 14 years ago, when my husband gave me acrylic paints and brushes as a birthday gift. It was a new medium for me but I loved it.

    Q: What kind of paintings do you do (what medium do you use)?

    Helena: I specialize in Acrylics, but enjoy mixed media and also dry media, like coloured pencils and pastels. I've started dabbling in oils again. When looking at subjects, I see them as a pencil drawing, an acrylic painting or maybe mixed media. It all depends on the mood and colour. I mostly use acrylics because of its versatility.

    Q: What is the theme of the exhibition at Corp Executive Hotel Apartments Al Barsha?

    Helena: I am partial to people - portraits and colour, so I decided to exhibit a mix of colourful paintings and faces. Exhibiting with Christopher, whose paintings are far more traditional and classical we thought "Chalk & Cheese" would be fitting.

    Q: What will be your price range?

    Helena: Again I'm hoping to have a good affordable mix ranging from AED1000/- to an average of AED 8000/- However one of my more expensive paintings will also be on display ( @ ) AED35,000/-

    Q: What kind of response have you been receiving in the market so far and have you exhibited your works in Dubai or in any other countries before?

    Helena: Since becoming a professional artist, I have exhibited in many galleries in different countries. My country of origin is South Africa where I first started exhibiting in prestigious galleries in Cape Town. Soon I had my first opportunity to exhibit in the USA. I also exhibited in a group as well as solo exhibition at Harmony Art Gallery in Chapel Hill, NC. USA.

    In Dubai I had an abstract art exhibition at Hunar Gallary with two of my friends, Marina Harris and Mazarine Menon. I have also exhibited in many group exhibitions at DIAC, Ductac and Mondo Arte.

    As far as public art is concerned I was invited to take part in the Red Bull competition and entered a clay sculpture which was enormously fun to make! I also took part in Camel Caravan, Arabian Horse and the Falcon Public art, which I enjoyed very much. When Emirates Home Publication first appeared I contributed regularly to their "Quick Trix".

    Q: How does it feel to be an artist?

    Helena: Being an artist is a very solitary vocation, because of that and to interact with like minded people, I also teach separate Drawing and Painting courses at two of Dubai's well known Community Art Centres.

    Helena: I love exploring new ways of doing things, trying out new mediums, even new styles. There is so much to learn and explore in the art world, one will never exhaust all the possibilities! Even making the simplest creative little things gives me pleasure. I'm truly one of the lucky people who can live my passion!

    Q & A with Christopher Southcombe

    Q: When and how did you start painting?

    Christopher: I was good at art at an early age and was awarded an honours certificate by the Royal Drawing Society when I was 10 years old. My parents gave me my first set of oil paints for my fourteenth birthday, and I took GCE'A' level art with the rest of my 'O' levels. I was receiving commissions for paintings of warships while I was still at school, and then when I joined the Royal Naval College at Dartmouth as an officer cadet my contemporaries told me I should leave the Navy and become a marine artist. That was in 1960, but I stayed in the Royal Navy for another 8 years before leaving and going to university. But 30 years after my colleagues had been advocating that I become a marine artist I finally took their advice and turned to painting full-time at the beginning of 1990. I am almost entirely self-taught (one is always bound to be learning from other artists to some extent) - glad that I never went to art college to be indoctrinated with other professors' ideas!

    Q: What is the theme of the exhibition at Corp Executive Hotel Apartments - Al Barsha?
    Christopher: The title will be "Chalk and Cheese" because Helena's work and mine are very different in style, in medium, in techniques and in subject matter - they are in fact, as different as chalk and cheese! But that makes an exhibition more interesting where the subjects will range from portraits to flowers to seascapes to landscapes and desert wildlife - and "saxified" local scenes!

    Q: What will be the price range?
    Christopher: Some desert and wildlife scenes in watercolour and oils from AED 1,500 to AED 12,000 and oil paintings of maritime heritage ranging from AED 6,000 to AED 25,000.

    Q : What is your origin?
    Christopher: I am English, born amid the bombing raids in 1942 and bred in England, but I have travelled the world since, from New Zealand in the south to Norway and Lapland in the north, and from the Galapagos in the west to Japan in the east. I am equally at home on stormy seas and in the depths of the silent Sahara desert

    For more information about the hotel please visit
    For media contact:
    Hina Bakht
    Vice President
    MPJ (Marketing Pro-Junction)
    Mob: 0097150 697 5146
    h.bakht ( @ ) mpj-pr dot com

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