Delfina Foundation

Artists-in-Residence (A.i.R) Dubai

An annual programme of residencies and new commissions in Dubai

For the last five years, Delfina Foundation has partnered with The Dubai Culture & Arts Authority, Art Dubai and Tashkeel on residencies for Emirati and international artists and curators.

Artists-in-Residence (A.i.R) Dubai brings together expertise and resources from arts organisations in the UAE and the UK to support international exchange through artistic research, production and residencies. A.i.R Dubai aims to promote international discourse and exposure in the UAE through open studios, educational activities and new commissions as part of Art Dubai Projects.


Curated by Yasmina Reggad, our annual programme of residencies and commissions features Moza Almatrooshi (UAE), Jumairy (UAE), Areej Kaoud (Palestine/UAE) and Lydia Ourahmane (Algeria/UK).


UAE-based artists were selected via a competitive open call included the established, Khorfakkan-based artist Mohammed Ahmed Ibrahim; photographer and writer Hind MezainaSharmeen Syed, whose practice references architectural research; and multi-media artist Jessica Mein. They were joined by the Amsterdam-based, former Rijksakademie resident Mehraneh Atashi, who works in photography, video and installation and has been recently pre-occupied with the concept of entropy, as well as Beirut-based artist Rheim Alkadhi, who weaves poetic collages from objects, texts, and images. 

All artists produced works for Art Dubai Projects creating new, site-specific works, exhibited at the fair, March 18-21, 2015, as part of an expansive not-for-profit programme.

A.i.R Dubai residencies, as well as Art Dubai Commissions, were curated by Lara Khaldi.


The international residents included Sunoj D. (India) and Nadia Ayari (Tunisia/USA) with Emirati artists Maitha Demithan, Sara Al Haddad and Maryam Al Qassimi, who worked alongside curator-in-residence İpek Ulusoy Akgül (Turkey/UAE).

The outcomes of A.i.R Dubai 2014 were on view at Madinat Jumeirah as part of Art Dubai Projects 2014 and at Al Fahidi House 11 via an Open Studios Exhibition.  


Following the same format as the previous year, A.i.R Dubai featured international artists Dina Danish, Joe Namy, and Yudi Noor, alongside Emirati artists Ebtisam Abdulaziz, Ammar Al Attar, and Reem Falaknaz. The six artists were in residence with curator Bérénice Saliou.

In partnership with Al Riwaq Art Space, A.i.R Dubai provided an opportunity for the 2013 participating artists and curator to extend their time in the Gulf through a residency in Bahrain.


The first full year of the project as A.i.R Dubai included three Emirati artists, Zeinab Alhashemi, Hadeyeh Badri and Nasir Nasrallah, along with three international artists Magdi Mostafa, Deniz Üster and Fayçal Baghriche and curator Alexandra MacGilp.  

Over nine weeks, the seven shared ideas, stories, space and food in House Number 11. An open studios exhibition presented the artists’ responses to the neighbourhood, the larger city of Dubai, and most importantly, each other. Additionally, the international artists created site-specific works for Art Dubai Projects.

Images of the 2012 open studios and commissions were published online by Nafas Art Magazine and on Delfina Foundation's Facebook page.


The first iteration of the project was House 44. Iranian-Canadian artist Abbas Akhavan and Tobias Collier from the UK were selected to participate in an eight-week residency programme alongside Emirati artists Hind Bin Demaithan, Shaikha Al Mazrou, and Shamma Al Amri.  While all artists were commissioned to create new works in response to Al Bastakiya (now known as Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood), Akhavan was additionally commissioned to create a site-specific piece for Art Dubai Projects, the fair's not-for-profit artistic programme.  Images of the 2011 open studios were published online by Nafas Art Magazine.


In collaboration with:
ArtAsiaPacific Magazine 
Al Riwaq Art Space (2013) 

Media Sponsors:
Art Week
Canvas Magazine