Across the UAE this year, millions of people have been marking the Year of Zayed in their own special way.
However, one Abu Dhabi-based artist is taking things to a whole other level. Well, 100 other levels.
Kasia Dzikowska is creating one portrait of the nation’s late, great founding father HH Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan every single day, for 100 days.
The painstaking project is a way of celebrating the century since the Sheikh’s birth, recognising the impact he still has on the whole nation.
Polish-born Dzikowska tells Time Out Abu Dhabi: “To everyone who is living in the UAE, or who has lived here previously, Sheikh Zayed is an inspiring figure – a true visionary, who pushed for innovation, equality and progress across all seven of the emirates.
“By creating 100 portraits in a variety of different media and techniques, I am aiming to capture the different aspects of Sheikh Zayed’s leadership and vision.”
The tireless artist began her portraits of Sheikh Zayed on Thursday, August 2 and will finish her last one on Sunday, December 2 – the date of the UAE’s 47th National Day.
As an artist and art educator working in a variety of artistic media, Dzikowska is using a number of techniques and materials to portray Sheikh Zayed in paint, collage drawing and other mixed media.
For example, one of the pieces will use roses from this year’s high school graduation ceremony at The Sheikh Zayed Private Academy for Girls in Abu Dhabi.
Dzikowska studied fine arts in her native Poland before moving to the UK in 2007, and taking part in various exhibitions and then becoming an art tutor.
Her previous works have explored various aspects of local culture and traditions, especially the importance of mothers in Middle Eastern culture, and the relations between family members.
In 2013, Kasia moved to the UAE where she has been based ever since. Her artwork has become heavily influenced by local factors, particularly by the strong influence of women in Emirati society.
Now she is taking on arguably her most tricky and impressive project yet, an homage to a truly outstanding human being.
O Finished pieces and snaps of work in progress can be found on Instagram @kasia_dzikowska, and under the hashtag #100Zayed100Days.