The Business of Curating Art



Mariam Bin Jadeem Al Suwaidi- Founder of Gadeemadis and Curator of Islamic Art Forum

By Shereen Shabnam

Recently I had coffee with Mariam Al Suwaidi, the passionate founder of “Gadeemadis” and curator of the Islamic Art Forum. Gadeemadis is an engaging establishment that encourages artistic and cultural activities, with the Islamic Art Forum being at its forefront.

The main reason Mariam founded the Islamic Art Forum is to share the beauty of Arab culture and art from the Emirates with the world. Her journey with the project began in 2016 with the Islamic Art Forum, which has since been meticulously involved in cultural activities in the UAE and the region.

A lover of art since childhood, Mariam took inspiration from prominent and influential women in the art industry. She was particularly inspired by Greece and her passion for art grew tenfold with the creativity she saw there during her visits.

As her family had a deep interest in Art, she honed on her passion further but her career choices later on led her to become an engineer, thus developing her experience in engineering consultations. However, her interest in art and architecture brought her back to the world of art.

Her strength lies in being able to develop a theme. She attended workshops and loves the concept of pop up art exhibitions that showcase emerging talent.

Mariam hopes to inspire and support women and children, as she believes that their abilities and skills can help revolutionize societies. When it comes to philanthropy, Mariam is passionate about CSR initiatives that benefit children.

Mariam hopes to present Islamic art into fashion with the aim that it goes global. She is based in Abu Dhabi and hopes to be able to do projects in New York. Her new themed collection will be released in November. She is greatly influenced by Arabic French artist – Naja Al Mahdawi.

On the personal front, Mariamloves travelling, meditation, yoga and enjoys attending workshops. She has a good eye for art and selects limited edition pieces.

Her most memorable moment was when she did her first exhibition a year ago in emirates Palace. When she curated the exhibition, she wanted people to pay tickets to come and see the art.

The next target for her work is in Asia and she wants to focus on both modern and creative pieces. She is interested to give knowledge back to students and encourage them to work hard on new exhibitions.

Through the Islamic Art Forum, Mariam envisions combining her love for art and philanthropy in a way that she can give back to society and promote the enormous outcomes art can provide to the overall wellbeing of nations. Her aim is to spread internationally respected Art that convey messages of nobility and peace.