Associate Professor Janet Bellotto




Zayed University, United Arab Emirates


Janet Bellotto, Associate Professor, Co-Chair - Department of Art & Design, Zayed University

Janet Bellotto is an artist, writer, curator, from Toronto, who splits her time in Dubai where she holds a position as Associate Professor and Co-Chair in the Department of Art & Design, Zayed University, Dubai, United Arab Emirates. She graduated from the Sculpture/Installation program from the Ontario College of Art & Design, Toronto, and received an MFA in Sculpture/Studio Arts from Concordia University, Montreal.

Bellotto's work encompasses sculpture, installation, photography, video and performance. Water flows through her work: oceans and waves, submersion and reflections, in-between states that are fluid and aqueous. In her installations, the surfaces/spaces scintillate and radiate as a way to suspend the viewer's belief. Her practice also encompasses curating and writing, and engages in projects that promote cultural exchange and transcends borders. Bellotto has exhibited in various cities including Beijing, Dubai, New York, Mexico City and Venice. A few recent exhibitions/projects include: 2011 Contemporary Crosscurrents: Portraits and Electronic Arts, Streaming Museum in Dubai  (; A Cozy Lie, Redhead Gallery, Toronto; 2010, 12th Cairo Biennale, Cairo, Egypt; Drowning Ophelia, Stratford Gallery, Stratford; 2009 _ Point of Encounter, Tashkeel, Dubai; 2008 , In-Situ, The JamJar, Dubai; WAVE, The LAB, New York City; 2007 , Dehisce, kkprojects, New Orleans, USA.

Paper title

The Nomadic Resolution: Multiple Making in the United Arab Emirates - presented with Associate Professor Karen Oremus


This paper focuses on the positive impact that the printed multiple has made within the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and how the multiple has functioned as a political vehicle for local artists that are trying to establish themselves in this complex social environment wherein roughly 80% of the country's population are expatriates. The printed form, through multiple identities and manifestations, has provided an instantaneous venue to narrate histories, investigate cultural identity, and to further develop artistic practices and conversations in the UAE. Photography, primarily in digital form is one of the most commonly explored mediums with emerging artists in the UAE due to its availability/feasibility and its potential for dissemination. It is not only explored in print but also electronically through mobile cameras, social networking and other online facilities. Printmaking, which embodies a rich relationship between photography, drawing and mechanical image making, has a strong presence due to its synchronism with storytelling and history of exchange, a traditional element that continues within Emirati culture. Thus it is through this dissemination to a wider audience that assists in the erosion of perceived stereotypes of the Arab culture and introduces the artists of this emerging country to the world. The paper attempts to demonstrate the ways in which this young, small and growing local art community along with their expatriate peers are approaching conversations and engagement with the wider art world, and key examples of successful emerging artists are examined. It is through a framework of vignettes and strategies that explore how print media and online projects have functioned as a means of generating and evolving this discourse.


Friday 30 September


11:00am - 12.30pm





Back to program
Back to home page