Darwen artist Khushna ‘estatic’her work will be displayed at Art Dubai fair


A Darwen artist is to have her work exhibited at the Art Dubai 2021 event in March.

Khushna Sulaman-Butt, 25,  a University of Oxford Fine Art graduate will see her work feature alongside some of the foremost new artists over the four-day event. It will be first art fair to be held in Dubai since the outbreak of coronavirus last year and will coincide with the UAE’s golden jubilee celebrations.

Khushna will exhibit the works ‘Three Sisters’ and ‘Young Pretenders’.

Due to the global pandemic, Khushna’s last year of study was disrupted but she has now resumed her third term for her Fine Art Master’s degree at Slade School of Art. 

Khushna said: “I’m ecstatic to be part of the Art Dubai 2021 fair.  Whilst painting away, there were moments when I felt I was in this happy and hazy dream because I’ve always wanted to go to Dubai.

“Its Artistic and cultural development has gone from strength to strength. Its art scene is thriving with excellent art galleries and exhibitions, attracting an international community, which I am now contributing towards in a minor way.  No matter the size, I’m very pleased at working with Kristin Hjellergerde Gallery who created this opportunity for me.

“Like many people, the pandemic did affect me in a negative way.  Around the time of the 1st lockdown, I was preparing for my final term of my Fine Art Masters degree at Slade University, London and planning for the year end degree show. 

“That came to an almighty halt, with my studies being disrupted and put on hold until this year.  I felt down because I used to immerse myself in Art through talking to other Artists, visiting exhibitions and galleries, then all of a sudden my routine and structure stopped. 

“I felt lost and my Art career looked bleak.  However the gallery provided a glimmer of hope by offering opportunities to participate in two events, Devil’s in the Detail exhibition and Art Dubai 2021, which I’m grateful for.”

The former Darwen Aldridge Community Academy student is being supported by the Darwen Rotary education fund, the WM and BW Lloyd Trust and Hilda Clarke memorial fund.

She added: “That was what I just needed because I had something to look forward to and I felt alive again.  The ‘Devil’s in the Detail’ event was well received and I attracted a lot more attention from it.

“The gallery helped restore my confidence and faith in what I was painting during a difficult time. Art Dubai 2021 was a life saver and I’m so excited that I can be associated to this high profile event.”

In 2020 Khushna had her work exhibited at London’s prestigious Saatchi Gallery.

Art Dubai takes place between 17-20 March at the Madinat Jumeirah.