Good art will capture your imagination and make you think. The best art will make you reflect on real life events without shoving them down your throat.
It’s a delicate balance and something that I often struggle with, but Xavier Mascaró has hit the nail on the head with Departure. A fleet of 26 unique sculptures; metal boats that are floating silently across the floor of Warehouse421.
The boats represent the passing of time, always flowing, always leaving things behind, as some sort of metaphor of our lives – Xavier Mascaró
Without passengers, without being able to tell which direction the boats are sailing in, or in fact if they are just wrecks waiting to be claimed by the sea, there is something pure about these sculptures and our own minds and experiences have to fill in the gaps.
The ships are not only a testament of the past or a current reflection on migration or exodus, but are also intended as a source of hope – Xavier Mascaró
My first thought was of migrants and refugees fleeing for their lives and how everyone around the world has a different opinion on the current crisis. Then as a migrant myself (although seen very differently in the eyes of the media) not too long ago all of my possessions were making their way across the water to me, ready for my new life in Dubai.
But they could easily be filled with vikings or pirates, pearl divers or fishermen like those I saw heading back in from sea while I was in Sri Lanka last week.
Warehouse421 is a recent addition to Abu Dhabi’s art scene. Once a warehouse in Mina Zayed (you drive through the port to reach it) it is now a Cultural Space featuring all kinds of creative work from both local and international artists.
The building itself creates quite the impression as soon as you approach. From the folding walls, the 18 metre long iron ship on the pavement outside and of course the stunning architecture that looks like a giant half-pipe.
Departure will be on display at Warehouse421 until 16th October and it is absolutely worth checking out.