Zayd El-Saie reviews the exhibition.


LONDON - Always supportive of exciting new initiatives, the Saatchi Gallery hosted Mica Gallery’s landmark prize-giving Gala Dinner on July 3rd. Awards were given for best artists in the Student, International & Emerging, Interfaith, and British Artist categories. Many of the entrants had come out of the regional workshops conducted by Mica Creative, encouraging young artists who would normally be deprived of a voice or platform to have an expressive medium. My Place on this Isle is a remarkable initiative by Reedah El-Saie who has tirelessly championed the cause of multiculturalism in today’s diverse and richly variegated Britain. The Special Mentions were in some cases as exciting as the winners, and Student winner Catherine Harrison, International Emerging winner Sandhya Pai, Interfaith collaboration by Burgher-Nicholls-Unaiza, as well as the wonderful British Artist winner Khaver Idrees were all warmly applauded by the audience. Guests included art patrons Andrew and Nada Wynn, Bahram and Susanne Salmanpour, Mona Khashoggi, Asif Ansari, and Mrs Mahnaz Kamel who all bid generously to support the cause – winning some beautiful artwork along the way.


Maaid Noors Distractions II.


The national press were out in force, and I was privileged to co-judge alongside Dr. Venetia Porter of the British Museum, Rebecca Wilson of the Saatchi, Rachel Campbell-Johnston of The Times, and Professor Ben Quash of King’s College, London. Sotheby’s maestro auctioneer Scott Roworth brought the gavel down on close to £50,000 for the evening, with the top lot – a sculpture by Nurjan who was first introduced at auction in our Doha 2010 sale – going for £12,000. What a party, as most guests staggered back home, with some taking rickshaws to MICA Gallery in Knightsbridge to view the Shortlist Exhibition, which will run throughout this summer of the Olympics!