Representation and the Significance of Imagination

Representation and the Significance of Imagination

Representation and the Significance of Imagination

“The Aim of Art is to Represent Not the Outward Appearance of things, but their Inward Significance“ -Aristotle 

Imagination allows us to explore possibilities, envision different scenarios, and transcend the boundaries of reality.

This concept plays a crucial role in the cognition and the creativity in Ghada Khunji's and Iskander Dawani's practice. Through this Exhibition, we are offering a rare glimpse into their studios. Using photography, painting, video, and installation Ghada and Iskander create a space where their work allows us to enter fictional worlds, characters, and narratives that raise questions, inspire reflection, and convey deeper meanings. This enables us to empathize with others by mentally stepping into their shoes.

The "Representation and the Signification of Imagination" Exhibition opens on Thursday, December 12th, from 7 p.m. at Al Riwaq Art Space.


About the Artists

Iskander Dawani

Iskander's exploration spans across the diverse tapestry of artistic forms—painting, illustration, abstraction, and poetry—continually unraveling new dimensions of expression and creativity. His contemporary portraits possess a captivating immediacy, exuding both vivid realism and emotive depth. Meanwhile, his adept fusion of text and imagery in illustrations and word collages forges a captivating synergy, blurring the boundaries between language and visual representation. And within his hallucinatory and ethereal cartoons, viewers are beckoned into enchanting realms, where imagination intertwines with perception, inviting an odyssey through surreal landscapes. Since 1992, Iskander has wielded poetry as a profound outlet, a canvas where views and thoughts learned, experienced, and cultivated find their eloquent expression across the vast expanse of time. 


Ghada Khunji

Ghada Khunji was born in Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain in 1967 and is currently residing there. She is a graduate of the Parsons School of Design and the International Center of Photography's Documentary Program, both based in New York. Her career as a freelance photographer in the fashion industry in New York City began in the early nineties and she spent two years as a research assistant for photo agencies, including Black Star and Magnum. For the following eight years, she was a printer and print manager for a high-profile clientele, such as Annie Leibovitz and Steven Meisel. Her photographs are known for depicting both landscapes and people from all over the world and for capturing the inherent dignity of the human element. Ghada’s most recent work focuses on exploring my innermost feelings, thoughts, and identity as a woman. Over the years, Ghada has been the recipient of numerous awards, such as the Lucie Discovery of the Year and American Photo Magazine’s Image of the Year Award. Her artworks have been exhibited widely in the US, and the Middle East. 






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Frequently Asked Questions

Is the residency only for visual arts?

No, it is open to all artists from different disciplines.

How long is the residency programme?

12 working weeks, from 28 January to 28 April 2024.

Please note the residency will coincide with the holy month of Ramadan as well as the Eid Holidays. Studio opening hours will be adjusted as appropriate during that period. 

Will there be an exhibition at the end of the residency?

Yes, participants' artwork and projects will be showcased in an exhibition at the end of the residency. The exhibition concept will be formulated and developed in discussion with the artists in residence. 

The exhibition will be developed in collaboration with Al Riwaq’s curation team, led by William Wells, and will open on 25 June 2024. 

Does this programme support research residencies?

Al Riwaq is open to receiving research-based resident artists, within Application 003 or independently. 

Artists seeking the unfamiliar around the corner, are welcome to apply for a  research-driven residency that can revolve around peer-to-peer exchange, and knowledge and understanding, not just in the arts but also in society.

Is there an age restriction for the applicants?

This residency is open for all above 18 years of age.