Simon Coates – Artist Residency


Following on from his successful solo retrospective exhibition in Dubai, English-born, Dubai-based artist Simon Coates has been chosen to take part in a new artist-in-residence program for the city’s Gallery of Light.   

The month-long residency will see Coates assemble new artworks that react with, and comment upon, Dubai’s status as a cultural melting-pot and worldwide target for commerce and tourism. Coates will be working live in the gallery itself on a daily basis for the duration of the residency, and will conduct workshops for local art students and residents.

Under the banner ‘Birth of the Locust’ Coates is keen to put together a body of work that works as a counterpoint to the more traditional contemporary art seen in Dubai.

‘My approach to painting is already pretty well known here’ says Coates, ‘but I’m also going to be putting together installation pieces that will make people ask questions of themselves. For example, there’s an endemic obesity problem in the UAE with 70% of people either obese or overweight. I’m not going to poke fun at fat people but I will be building something that will act as a warning.

There are also situations wherein migrant workers find themselves living in cramped rented rooms in Dubai because that’s all they can afford. So one of my other pieces is going to highlight this as, although there are charities here that help these workers, I’m sure there are people out there that don’t know about this situation’.

Coates is one of the first to be awarded an artist residency in a new program that the gallery hopes will encourage dialogue between artists, both locally and across cultures. Furthermore, Coates will be joined in the residency by Ethiopian artist Ephrem Solomon, a resident of Addis Ababa who is travelling to Dubai to take part.


Duration 03 September 2011 - 30 September 2011
Times 10AM - 10PM (2PM - 10PM Fridays)
Cost Free
Venue The Gallery of Light
Address DUCTAC Dubai DB1, ,
Contact +971 4 3414 777 / /

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