In a celebration of artistic brilliance under the Louvre Abu Dhabi dome, Nabla Yahya, a visionary multi-disciplinary artist hailing from Abu Dhabi, emerged as the triumphant winner of the prestigious Richard Mille Art Prize on January 24th. The Richard Mille Art Prize, in collaboration with Louvre Abu Dhabi, serves as a vital platform for contemporary artists from the region to showcase their diverse talents. The exhibition, now in its third edition, invites artists through an open call for proposals, each responding to a unique theme. This year, ‘Transparencies’ prompted artists to explore the multifaceted aspects of the subject in their works.
Born in 1993, Yahya was one of eight artists featured in the Art Here 2023 exhibition, which kicked off in November. Her winning creation, ‘Soft Bank,’ a three-dimensional cartographic representation of the 164km Suez Canal, unraveled the forgotten history of the Suez Canal’s construction. Her unique take brought out overlooked details, exposing the complex history of the Suez Canal. ‘Soft Bank’ not only dug into the ignored aspects of its creation but also explored this year’s theme of ‘Transparency’ in a thought-provoking way.
The distinguished six-member jury, led by H.H. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, Advisor to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Chairman of UAE Unlimited, played a pivotal role in selecting Yahya for the coveted Richard Mille Art Prize. The jury, which included prominent figures like Dr. Souraya Noujaim, Maya El Khalil, Clare Lilley, Dr. Guilhem André, and Mohammed Kazem, recognized Yahya’s outstanding contribution to contemporary Art.
In her acceptance speech, Yahya expressed deep honor in receiving the 2023 Richard Mille Art Prize, emphasizing the power of Art to transcend boundaries and illuminate hidden histories. ‘Soft Bank,’ she explained, “is not just an installation; it’s a dialogue between the past and the present, a reflection on the transformation of the Suez Canal.” Yahya concluded by thanking the Louvre Abu Dhabi and the Richard Mille Art Prize for championing creativity and providing a platform for contemporary artists like her to challenge perspectives and tell untold stories.