Last week in Dubai’s bustling Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), self-taught artist Rowaida Hakim revealed a series of abstract paintings made with her signature incorporation of 24-carat gold. Titled Golden Light, the luminous works on show were influenced by the natural world, Dubai’s glistening skyline and the emotions of happiness and positivity. The artworks on view were punctuated by bold abstract forms, a plethora of expressive and gestural brushstrokes and the artist’s use of 24-carat gold leaf.
On view were works such as Confetti, Dubai Nights, Flowers of Joy, Romance and The Secret City. “It’s not necessary to have everything in life; being satisfied with what we have is the principle aspect of one’s happiness and these are the emotions that I paint,” says Hakim, also owner of several real estate companies in Dubai as well as Rowaida Interiors, a high-end design company specialised in luxury interiors.
“When I paint, my feelings control my brush.” The colours in Hakim’s works dance around the canvas with vibrant energy. Tones of pink, magenta, blue, and green enhanced by luxurious strips of 24-carat gold leaf. “Painting, design and crafts have been my passion since I was very young,” she says. “I have been painting since I was seven-years-old. Later I started selling my work through my company Rowaida DMCC Interiors, and recently, due to the high motivation from customers, friends and family, I have staged this exhibition to show my work to public.”
Tell Me The Story by Rowaida Hakim
Hakim’s works were displayed on both floors of Sotheby’s Dubai. Their expressionistic brushstrokes transported guests, which attended from throughout the Middle East, into another world. It is a world, according to the artist, where happiness reigns supreme and all negativity is pushed into obscurity. Her paintings capture her musings on the world around her—the beauty of the desert landscape of the United Arab Emirates that she has called home for so many years, the enrapturing skyline of the Dubai with its glistening buildings that light up the sky like gemstones on a necklaces, and the metaphysical renderings on her feelings of love, joy and serenity.
“I have spent the majority of my life in Dubai,” says Hakim. “It is a city that has given me so much and I really love it – its charm, its beauty and its energy as well as its people. This all reflected in my work, especially in paintings such as Dubai Nights. I think of my paintings as radiating happiness and reflecting the positivity that we feel in this beautiful city.”
Dancing Colours by Rowaida Hakim
In a world where too often we focus on what we lack rather than what we have, these works reveal an abundance of human spirit. They are painted with absolute passion and dedication; Rowaida’s commitment to her art is never ending. Art for her signifies a new language, a new hope and vision—painting has become her happy place. It is a time of contemplation and solace about the beauties that life has to give rather than its blackness. A long-time jewellery collector, she has always loved adding touches of gold and even jewels to her paintings. It allows their innate sense of character to come alive.
Gold lasts for a very long time; it is strong and represents loyalty and trust. The golden leaves she incorporates enhance the beauty of abstract works. They shine brilliantly before our eyes as if to whisper something, perhaps a message that must be relayed or a secret that must be told. This first exhibition of Rowaida’s abstract works showcases her creative vision and dedication to her craft. The paintings displayed are like dancers at a party. They shine as they whirl before us, enlighting us with the bold colours and touches of gold; they radiate light positivity, creativity and love.