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The National

Afra Al Dhaheri, Pillow Fort Playground (نلعب بيت؟), 2021

Afra Al Dhaheri’s Pillow Fort stands as visual trickery. The sculpture of stacked tikkay, or traditional Emirati floor pillows, may seem soft in its material and in our childhood memories of play, but it is actually made of hard marble.

The work, which acts as a “space within a space”, attempts to transform how viewers engage with their surroundings and invites them to connect with memory.

It is also among 11 works that will be unveiled at Expo 2020 Dubai on October 1 as part of its public art programme.

Curated by Tarek Abou El Fetouh, with special sections put together by Muneera Al Sayegh and Mohammed Al Olama, the programme includes creations by Emirati artists Al Dhaheri, Abdullah Al Saadi, Asma Belhamar and Shaikha Al Mazrou.

The artworks will become permanent fixtures of the Expo 2020 Dubai site after the event closes in March and the area becomes District 2020.

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