Inspiring students at the Louvre Abu Dhabi

Continuing our series of blog posts by Mediators at the Louvre Abu Dhabi, Hala shares a tour she gave to students and its impact and inspiration the tour it had on one of the group…

Nowadays, museums are much more than their collection; they are defined by the stories they tell. The Louvre Abu Dhabi tells its story of humanity, through travelling in its permanent and temporary exhibitions, but also through the community hub and social activities around its space.  To me, this means that storytelling should always be a collective process to look for the story that best fits the purpose of your tour, because I believe that the most powerful lessons are told through stories.

I was assigned to do my first visit to the Louvre Abu Dhabi tour, and had twenty-two 12th graders from Al Jameela School, and so my tour began. As we entered the grand vestibule and I started explaining the idea of a museum where I usually start this specific kind of tour by asking the group “who is a collector? And what do you collect?” The answers I received were so promising and I knew right then that I’m off to such an optimistic and prosperous tour. Their interactivity was amazing. They were keen on learning everything on their 60 minutes journey.

Throughout the chapters, I delivered comprehensive information about the museum and how does it function, as well as the whole team behind the Louvre Abu Dhabi story and their roles and responsibilities. At the end of the tour, one girl stepped forward and thanked me for the tour, and told me how this one-hour voyage inspired her. Thus, decided to choose an art related major in university so she can come back in four years and be part of the Louvre Abu Dhabi family.

A Tour for 21 Ambassador’s Partners

Farah is one of the Mediators at the Louvre Abu Dhabi. In this blog she shares her experience of giving a particularly special tour around the Museum to partners of Ambassadors to UAE from around the world.

The 21 wives of Ambassadors tour embodied Louvre Abu Dhabi’s concept, which is a meeting of a globalized and connected world. When I first met the ladies, some were in vibrant, colorful traditional clothing and I could already tell this was going to be one of my favorite tours. Here we had so many countries represented, all standing proud of where they came from.

After entering the museum, I explained ” Louvre Abu Dhabi takes the universal museum concept to another level, by placing artworks from different civilizations side by side, creating a dialogue on the human narrative. Their faces lit up, and we began the tour through 12 chapters of civilization.

During the tour, I felt each person discover a piece of herself or an object representing their heritage. The Egyptian wife stood a little higher when discussing Ramses the 2nd, the great pharaoh of Egypt. The Portugese wife shouted “Portugal!” when we reached the Namban Screen depicting the first contact of Portugal in Japan. In 90 minutes, I told a story on the human narrative through art, and in a way through each and every one of them. The ladies continuously expressed their admiration for the curation of the museum, a mirror of their collective portrayal.

As we exited the galleries and gathered under the dome, conversations sparked and their colors shined even brighter.


Amaryllis’ passion for the arts shines through at the Louvre Abu Dhabi

Continuing our series of blog posts by Mediators at the Louvre Abu Dhabi, Amaryllis writes about a tour that became particularly meaningful to her.

My tour of the Masterpieces of the Louvre Abu Dhabi started in the Grand Vestibule where I introduced myself, the narrative of the LAD, and the structure of the tour.

I then moved my group through the twelve chapters of the museum, providing historical context for each chapter and highlighting 1-2 masterpieces per chapter. I started off with roughly 15-20 people and by the final chapter, there were around 40, maybe more.

Though this was not my first tour, it was a tour I will never forget. Through the duration, I was encouraged by people who came up to me to say that they were enjoying the tour, that I was doing a great job, and that my passion for art and the Louvre Abu Dhabi is contagious.

As I concluded my tour and was applauded by my group, a sense of validation took over me and I could not help but be emotional. I was approached by people who wanted to book tours with me in the future, and by Directors within the art world who felt moved by the way I spoke about the artworks.

The entire tour from start to finish was a magical moment and one, which I am grateful to have experienced! I am also very grateful for Annie’s reassuring hug at the end of my tour – she has seen me develop from the start, having interviewed and trained me, while continuing to provide guidance every step of the way!

Madeline’s VIP tour of the Louvre Abu Dhabi’s Masterpieces

This is the first in our series of blog posts written by Mediators at the Louvre Abu Dhabi.

Creating a talented team of Mediators at the Louvre Abu Dhabi

In the blogs the Mediators will talk about their experiences of our training, delivering tours and working at the landmark universal museum during its inaugural period.

The first blog is by Madeline.

VIP Masterpieces of the LAD tour

Guests: The former President of Ukraine, Mr. Viktor Yushchenko, the former First Lady Mrs. Kateryna Mykhaylivna Yushchenko and their daughter Ms. Sophia Yushchenko

The Louvre Abu Dhabi was celebrating its grand VIP opening on the 10th of November, many esteemed visitors walked through its doors from the morning till the late evening. The mediation team was prepared and honoured to receive the guests, excited to show them the wonders in the galleries within.

I was given the honour to Guide the tour of the Former Ukrainian President, Mr. Viktor Yushchenko, his honourable wife the former First Lady Mrs. Kateryna Mykhaylivna Yushchenko and their daughter Ms. Sophia Yushchenko. We walked into the galleries, standing in the Grand vestibule the journey began; exploring a brief introduction of the museum chapters, explaining how this part of the museum represented a small introduction into the chapters and tells us the story of civilisations. As we moved through the chapters, Mr. Yushchenko and the former First Lady were taken by the beauty of the narrative, which slowly revealed the footsteps of civilisation across the world and their influence on one another. Their brilliant daughter Ms. Sophia was very excited to see artworks such as the Door panels with geometric motifs from Egypt, which affirmed her knowledge of the Almond shaped motifs in inlaid ivory as she knew were characteristic of Mamluk decorative art.

It was a journey which ended with beautiful and stimulating conversation with the former royal family under the dome; the tour was vibrant, enlightening and mind opening. We explored artworks from the beginning of civilisations, all the way to abstract and contemporary artists, such as the Russian artist Kandinsky, which was one of their favourites. It was a beautiful journey around the museum, and I hope to be honoured to see them again soon.

Creating a talented team of Mediators at the Louvre Abu Dhabi

The Louvre Abu Dhabi is a unique project. A partnership between two countries, it is the first universal museum in the Arab World and one of the most anticipated cultural events of the year.

We recruited and trained the Mediator team at the Louvre Abu Dhabi, completing the full recruitment and training services in just 12 weeks. The Mediators will be the public face of the Museum, we used our extensive experience of building audience facing teams to handpick a talented pool of 30 Mediators to fulfil this role.

Training contents included:

  • Theories of museology, art history and learning in museums
  • Detailed knowledge building of the Museum’s development, iconic architecture and the artworks on display
  • Techniques to facilitate engagement with the Museum’s content, incorporating presentation skills, visitor management and overcoming barriers to learning.

At the Louvre Abu Dhabi opening events, our talented Mediators delivered tours to VIPs from around the world and received much praise from these significant individuals from iconic cultural organisations. We are continuing to mentor the Mediators as the Louvre Abu Dhabi opens its doors to the public.

Over a coming series of blogs, a number of the Mediators will be sharing their experiences of working at the Louvre Abu Dhabi and delivering some of their first tours and workshops.  

The End of Expo 2017

After three months of operations, Astana Expo drew to an end this week.

The event in Kazakhstan’s capital welcomed over 400 million visitors and took them on a journey into the theme of ‘Future Energy’.

The Saudi Pavilion showcased the Kingdom’s role and commitment to shaping future energies and sustainable solutions. We recruited and trained a wonderful team of Guides who exemplified the spirit and hospitality of the country. Throughout the course of Expo, the Guides engaged visitors with the stories and content in the Pavilion and helped thousands try on traditional Saudi dress.

We’re thrilled to have consistently been in the top most visited pavilions- welcoming over 740,000 visitors over the course of Expo.

It’s been a great three months in the Kazakh capital, but until next time- Астанаға қоштасу.

Images courtesy of Hypsos.

Transition: Emerging Middle Eastern Artists

Last Wednesday, we were welcomed by the Menier Gallery to the exhibition opening of Transition: Emerging Middle Eastern Artists. The three week long exhibition is running from the 15th August to the 2nd of August in the South East London gallery. The works pertain to how the Arab region has seen a transition both collectively and individually.

The diverse artworks range from calligraphy, sculptures, paintings and photography, to neon light and video installations, live performances and zines. The works prompt the viewers to engage in a dialogue about how artists from the Arab region are transitioning through life.

Over 30 emerging Middle Eastern Artists participated in the exhibition, a highlight of which exhibition is Ayham Jbar’s ‘Two Worlds’. The surreal collages merge iPhone photos of Damascus with vintage illustrations of space. In his works, Ayham shares his love of science fiction films, stories and films and uses the mix of mediums and eras to draw parallels to the Syrian civil war.

These works of art showcase a diverse and refreshing selection of work that encourages the viewer to engage in a dialogue about the power of connection and the complexities of change geographically, personally or artistically.

الاستعداد للإحتفاء باليوم الوطني للمملكة العربية السعوديّة!

يوم 22 أغسطس 2017 في معرض أكسبو كازاخستان، أستانا ستقام فعاليات تجسد احتفالات اليوم الوطني للمملكة العربية السعودية حيث سيعرض الجناح السعودي عروض مختلفة منها مشهد العرس الشعبي وعرض الأزياء السعودي وكتابة الخط العربي والرسم المباشر وتقديم الأكلات الشعبية وكذلك تقديم هدايا للزوار والتي ترمز لأهم المعالم الإسلامية في المملكة العربية السعودية وغيرها مما يُظهر الهوية الوطنية والثقافة السعودية بمختلف مزاياها.

Saudi Pavilion in the Top Ten Again!

This week we were very excited to find out that the Saudi Pavilion is once again in the top 10 most visited pavilions at the Astana Expo.

Other most visited pavilions included those from Russia, Japan and India.

For the full list visit the official Astana Expo website.

Expo has been open for two months and has seen well over 2 million visitors. With one month to go, we’re excited to continue welcoming guests to the Saudi Pavilion and celebrate Saudi National Day on the 22nd August.