2015 – Abu Dhbai, UAE
THE CABIN draws its inspiration from the history of the United Arab Emirates during the life of its former president the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.
A mysterious ship lays abandoned on the land of the Abu Dhabi Sailing & Yacht club. No one seems to really know its story or where it came from. Many have speculated on the ship’s history, but one story has some credence through an old black and white picture on the yacht club manager’s office wall. It shows the ship, gifted by Kuwait in the early 70s, being used by Sheikh Zayed as a viewing deck to watch sailing races and to receive and entertain guests.
It seems that subsequently the ship was used as a restaurant until it was abandoned, rotted and hazardous.
Today, this ship’s future is equally mysterious. No one knows what is in store for this once-upon-a-time viewing deck for Sheikh Zayed.
This story and the black and white picture in the yacht club manager’s office provided the inspiration for THE CABIN installation.
The visitor to THE CABIN will experience being between the sea and land where the eye, not find an horizon, moves upwards to discover the jeweled space above. The cylinder shaped structure is veneered with teak to represent the body of that mysterious ship. The first experience the visitor has is the feeling of being on land where a sculpted carpet captures the desert sand’s wind rippled smoothness and being surrounded by shades of blue. THE CABIN responds to the reality of a ship that never sailed. A ship that remained docked on the seashore all its life.
Looking up the visitor experiences the faceted ceiling that is made from more than 418 wool Agaals wired together. This alludes to the many men who came to the ship to view the sailing races together. A men-only space reinterpreted by a ceiling made of a man’s attire.
In both spaces, aboard the ship back then and in the installation now, the visitor’s view is different and the way we view is changed as well. The function back then and here now is similar, yet they are different spaces – here history has been reinterpreted.
THE CABIN is an interactive space that takes you back to a history that is seen but untold. A space of many experiences but one function – that of viewing.