Cap designer’s in peak condition
Young artist puts the UAE ahead of the rest and tackles impressions of the Middle East with her inspired baseball cap...
When UAE art graduate Lina Al-Amoudi heard about a competition to turn a simple baseball cap into a piece of art, she knew she would use the opportunity to help educate the world about the Middle East.
And her vision has paid off after the budding Sharjah artist won the international ‘NewEra Introducing’ contest with the cap she designed, inspired by this region.
Lina’s design, as well as creations by artists from around the world, will be on show this weekend at a special exhibition in Al Quoz.
Explaining how she’d never considered art as a career until recently, Lina, who has a degree in visual communication, says she heard about the exhibition through a friend and was inspired immediately.
“When New Era told me they were going to send over a cap for me to design, I felt like the cap as a headpiece was a real understatement almost.
Throughout history, hats have been used to indicate power, social status and religion and I thought ‘I’ve been given the chance to voice myself on this cap’ and I felt I had to represent my culture and tell people what it’s like where I live. Instead of the negativity the world sees about our region, I thought it would be good to show people a little bit about the culture.
I chose the story of the Queen of Sheba.
“She was a leader, she ran her own kingdom, she was a mother, she had all these different hats, so I decided to make something that was kind of like the structure of a crown but at the same time, a headpiece. I wanted it to portray all aspects of her life - her as a mother and a leader. She’s a good person for women to look up to in this region and this is a story that has been told for generations.”
Then began the design element. Lina, 23, said it involved two weeks of turning her home “upside down” with her mum devoting her days to feeding her bananas
to keep her going!
“Initially I did a few sketches and pulled out key stages of her life - the four most important stages of her life - and tried to portray each as a side of the hat.
“I sketched and illustrated and then razor cut it with MDF. Then I attached the four facades which made the outer structure for it and then, in the inside, I used royal red velvet with the tassle to represent woman warriors. The inside lining is material used by bedouins in Saudi . I wanted it to be ethnic and colourful.”
Lina, who is Arab/Filipino was awarded a £10,000 (Dhs59,000) bursary to assist in launching her chosen artistic career as a prize for winning the competition and already has high hopes for what she’ll achieve with the money.
She adds: “I’ve been saving up for two years for my Masters and this will push me ahead to finally do it.
“With the rest of it, I’m starting up a little studio dedicated to upcoming local designers. People have given me a chance as a young artist so I think it’s important that I do my best to give others a chance. I want to pave the way for those younger than me so I want to open a small studio that can help people feed the soul and at the same time pay the bills!
“It’s in Business Bay and will hopefully open next month. It’s a family-run business because my brothers are also designers,” she explains. “We do one-off piece jewellery one minute and the next we’re working with leather. The studio will be that kind of place where you can come in and do whatever kind of work you feel like doing that day.”
And Lina says she’s pleased to be showing you can make a career out of art.
She adds: “In Saudi, you either become a doctor or a businessman or you just get married, that’s the case for most of us.”