Re-imagining the environment: Art festival at JOALI Maldives draws on all senses

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the Imagi-Nature Art Festival at Joali Maldives

30 March 2023

The first art-immersive resort in Maldives, JOALI announces its annual Art Week with the April 2023 Imagi-Nature Art Festival. To host the Imagi-Nature Art Festival, JOALI Maldives has collaborated with respected art consultant Tatiana Gecmen-Waldek. Guests are invited to revel in the creative spirit of nature and engage in creative dialogues between international art forms, impressive installations and local influences at JOALI Maldives.

From April 14-18, guests can experience this innovative project first-hand, harmoniously blending art and sustainability and offering creative collaborations with celebrated artists worldwide, including Aurelie Hoegy, Studio Mameluca, Maja Rohwetter, Barbara Veiga, Jeanne Susplugas, Le Petite Chef and Hajja and Joule. Channeling the natural splendour of JOALI Maldives, each immersive installation is created to engage, ignite and free the imagination. Guests of all ages are invited to interact with eco-conscious artwork across the beautiful island. What’s more, special events await guests on World Art Day (April 15). More on each artist is included below.

Imagi-Nature Art Festival

JOALI Maldives will serve as a gallery in itself as the resort will become a Sculpture Park, housing four permanent installations from the Imagi-Nature Art Festival. Hoegy’s fluid art piece, “JOALI Hammock,” inspired by natural movement and transcending boundaries between art and design; Studio Mameluca’s vicennial installation of the Maldives’ “One Egg, One World”; Jeanne Susplugas’ virtual reality experience, “Daydreaming” and Rohwetter’s multisensory augmented reality app, “Contingencies,” will permanently join the resort’s collection. Embodying movement through her collections of furniture, Hoegy was inspired to create “JOALI Hammock” by the curves of the island, sumptuous white sand and the movement of the Indian Ocean. The ocean motif continues in Studio Mameluca’s “White Tern’s Bird’s Nest,” made with natural resources with ocean life in mind and accompanied by ocean sound customisation. Guests will also be able to dive into the brain’s activity with Suspulugas’ installation, where they can navigate among neurons and synapses through eye movement, and continue their virtual experience through Rohwetter’s expanded dimensions of reality.

To gastronomes’ delight, Le Petite Chef will be redefining the culinary arts with its installation, which will be available in Saoke, the on-site Japanese restaurant designed by world-renowned restaurant architect Noriyoshi Muramatsu, for six months. Guests will be able to memorialise this creativity-inspiring experience with scarves created by Rohwetter, which will be available in the JOALI Art Studio and La Maison de JOALI boutique.

With a network that includes internationally renowned galleries, collectors, auction houses and artists, Gecmen-Waldek has worked as a consultant with greats such as Giorgio Armani, Cartier, Etro, Roger Vivier, Maison Kitsuné Vhernier, Huawei and ACNE. Now, as a valued JOALI Maldives partner, Gecmen-Waldek is poised to bring an extraordinary selection of works by contemporary artists to the resort in the form of exhibitions, performances, limited editions and permanent installations. Born in Austria and raised in Paris, Gecmen-Waldek is passionate about fostering creative collaborations and producing cultural content that inspires the inner artist within each of us. This is embodied through her slogan, “experience art instead of seeing art.”

Women in Arts program at Joali Maldives

As a female-owned and connected retreat, JOALI Maldives is committed to gender equality and the development of talented women. Through the resort’s Women in Arts program, JOALI Maldives offers local women a platform to convey their message through the arts by helping them hone their artistic skills with on-site trainings and workshops, which are facilitated by the resort’s resident artist. The artworks and local crafts are then displayed in the JOALI Art Studio for guests to purchase. The Imagi-Nature Art Festival will put female artists at the front of the curation, with highlights including Veiga, whose live performance of “Earth Layers” will give visibility to planet conservation; Suspulugas, whose work offers a reflection, not devoid of humour, derision and cynicism, on the ills of society; Rohwetter, whose cross-medial approach blurs the boundaries between the physical and virtual worlds; and local Maldivian sisters Hajja and Joule, who will be collaborating with Hoegy to create pillows and embroidery with guests.

JOALI Maldives not only showcases its engagement with the arts and the local community but also with sustainability through actions in honour of World Oceans Day (June 8). The resort has always been committed to environmental protection and the local population through various initiatives, including the Olive Ridley Project, protecting sea turtles and their habitats through rescue and rehabilitation, scientific research and education. Although each piece of art throughout the retreat is unique, they are all united by a commitment to sustainability. Many pieces are made from recycled waste, clay or other natural materials and inspire a more sustainable lifestyle. At the Imagi-Nature Art Festival, Parley for the Oceans and Utöpia will be presenting a collaboration with contemporary artist Jeppe Hein, a limited-edition flowing flag in the ocean titled, “We Are All Interconnected,” in support of Parley for the Oceans’ Global Cleanup Network. The installation is made with ocean plastic, a premium material created from upcycled plastic waste recovered from remote islands, waters and coastlines by Parley for the Oceans, and 100% of the proceeds will help fund JOALI Maldives’ programs for plastic interception, education, communication, material science and eco-innovation.

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A new landmark for glamor and sophistication in the Maldives, JOALI is an ultra luxury resort that's opened in 2018 on the island of Muravandhu, Raa atoll. Celebrating the "Joy of Life" with high skill, artistry and sustainability in its very essence, Joali promises a non-standard and exceptional island experience for its guests. The 73-villa property offers unconventional luxury in a private setting and a distinct focus on design by internationally-renowned design studio Autoban, architecture and design firm Atolye4n and Tokyo-based Studio Glitt.

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