Morné Fourie is a man with two lives. By day, the South African is vice president of design management at Dubai Parks and Resorts, a Dh10.5 billion publicly listed entity created out of Meraas Development. By night, he creates beautiful ink-based artworks.
Fourie, who is busy with the design of three theme parks in Dubai as well as the newly announced Six Flags Dubailand, has lived in the UAE for nine years.
He also set up the Middle East office for architectural firm AECOM and, as the company’s director of urban design, oversaw the design of landmarks such as Ferrari World, Masdar City and the new Abu Dhabi International Airport.
Although he is an ¬architectural masterplanner by profession, Fourie credits his artistic ability as the driving force behind his successful career. He launched his debut art exhibition at Showcase Gallery in Alserkal Avenue, Dubai, last week.
The collection of stark works – all in black and white – were ¬created using heavy Indian ink on watercolour paper.
The ink was applied with a ¬calligraphy brush, which, unlike a watercolour brush, drops the colour quickly onto the highly porous paper. Because the ink dries within seconds, there is no room for -error, and Fourie’s clear, graceful lines shine through. His subjects – whether birds of prey, Arabian stallions or a pair of feminine eyes peering from behind a narrow opening in an indeterminate black rectangle, are strikingly captured. “Although I am an artist, I have always hovered towards architecture, and so whenever I drew, it was while working for clients, under confidentiality clauses and towards certain specifications," says Fourie.
“I never really had time to stray outside of those boundaries. So for me, this is a chance to express myself.
“I have two sides to my mind; one is very rational and mathematical, and the other side is ¬artistic, and it is that side that got me this far. It is my art that I owe everything to."
• Morné Fourie’s work is on display at Showcase Gallery in Alserkal Avenue, Dubai, as part of the summer programming. No official closing date has been announced. Visit www.showcaseuae.com
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