Art gardens and plants, and their place in our day-to-day imagination, are central to the architecture and curatorial mandate of the Jameel Arts Centre. The centre was designed as a series of boxes punctuated by seven courtyards that feed natural light into all floors, and bring flora into the heart of the galleries. Each courtyard represents a distinct desert environment – within – depth research and sourcing of the plants. The courtyards are spaces for contemplation, designed to allow room for thought between the galleries and works.
Alongside the seven courtyards is an Artist’s Garden, imagined as a space for artists to create, cultivate and experiment, via an annual commissions programme. Artists are invited to use the space in a way that compliments their practice, keeping in mind the local environment and the sustainable ethos of the Centre as a whole. The artist may draw on their interest in nature, flora, the meaning and symbolism of plants, ecology, anthropology, or opt to pick up on the inspiration of the Dubai Creek or surrounding environment.
The Artist’s Garden commissions are researched based projects and spread over 1-2 years depending on the scope of the project. Collaborative in nature, the garden aims to open up conversations around existing complexities and entanglements that shape environmental concerns and practices on both a local, regional and international scale.