From a screening of the fascinating works of Van Gogh to DIY Product Photography…

With a brand new month comes brand new events to check out, and culture vultures, we’ve rounded up plenty to keep you busy in February.

Here are 6 cool cultural events to check out in the UAE this month.

Exhibition: Mechanical Creatures

This showcase of 16 mechanical insects by German artist Gaby Wormann is inspired by the writings of Franz Kafka and the work of artists H.R. Giger and Pierre Matter. Wormann takes tiny components such as watch gears, plates, balance springs and filaments to make these futuristic insects.

MB&F M.A.D.Gallery. The Dubai Mall, Fashion Avenue, Dubai. Sun to Wed 10am to 11pm, Thur to Sat 10am to 12pm, until March 30. Tel: (04) 388 2554.

Lecture: Orientalist painters

Ever wondered what the term Orientalism means? Art historian Philippine Motais de Narbonne will put the term into context by explaining a collection of European paintings of the Middle East region from the early 20th century in this fascinating lecture that will help to understand how the world views this region to this day.

Alliance Française, Street 18, Oud Metha, Dubai. 7.30pm, Thursday February 6, Dhs45 (Dh35 for members) Tel: (04) 335-8712.

Screening: Van Gogh: A New Way of Seeing

Perhaps more than any other artist, Van Gogh’s life has long captured the imagination of storytellers. Delving deep into his fascinating and sometimes deeply troubled world comes this definitive, award-winning documentary directed by David Bickerstaff, which also features exclusive interviews with the curatorial team at the Van Gogh Museum.

Roxy Cinema, City Walk, Al Safa Street, Dubai, timings vary, February 8, 11, 12. Tel: (800) 7699.

Workshop: DIY Product Photography

Sometimes the most difficult subjects are the inanimate ones. This workshop will equip you to capture images showing the best side of your products and leave you winning at the marketing game.

Gulf Photo Plus, Unit 36, Alserkal Avenue, Street 8, Al Quoz 1, Dubai. 10am to 5pm, Friday February 15. Dhs800 (bring your own camera). Sat to Thurs, 10am to 7pm. Tel: (04) 3808545.

Exhibition: Architecture of Loneliness

This exhibition gathers the work of four photographers to examine how feelings of solitude can arise even when living in a busy urban environment. Through a series of 61 photographs, the images capture abandoned spaces that once were centres of city life, as well as development projects at various stages, and a moving series on Dubai’s zoo.

Warehouse 421. Mina Zayed, Street Samrayr, Abu Dhabi. Tues to Sun, 10am to 8pm, until February 17. Tel: (02) 6768803.

Tour: Wissam Shawkat: Disciplined Insurgence

Dubai-based, Iraqi-born calligrapher Wissam Shawkat has a bold and graphic style, which means his work is fresh and contemporary whilst still respecting the rules of the tradition. His latest exhibition looks back over his career and includes work from several series. Don’t miss the chance to hear the artist giving a guided tour.

Tashkeel, Nad Al Sheba, Dubai. 7pm, Tuesday February 5. Tel: 04 336 3313.

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Words: Anna Seaman.
Anna is an arts and culture specialist in the UAE, and a regular contributor to What’s On. Find out more at