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Leandro Erlich in Abu Dhabi Art 2019

Abu Dhabi Art invites three established and well-known artists to create site-specific works in historic sites in Al Ain, to activate these sites and draw new audiences to them. The works created by the commissioned artists are revealed during Abu Dhabi Art and remain on exhibition to the public for two months afterwards.

As part of the commission of the Department of Culture of Abu Dhabi, Leandro presents in the Oasis of Al Ain a site-specific Nest for the Cloud: "The Heart of Water."

Artist Statement: "A few years ago, I created Nest: a cylindrical structure made with local stone. Nested within its interior was the glass sculpture of a cloud, positioned just below a skylight. It was an unusual project, capable of combining the delicate and ephemeral beauty of a cloud with the more rugged play of stone and the surrounding landscape. Like all site-specific work, Nest had its own spirit and unique qualities. When I was asked to create a new project for Al Ain, it seemed like an interesting opportunity to further develop this work; but this time I would base the supporting building (or nest) on the traditional architecture of the Al Jahili Fort and the Qattara Oasis. Water is, after all, the secret heart of any oasis, and clouds represent the heart of rain (and irrigation). But as I set to work, I stumbled upon images of the Beehive Tombs of Jebel Hafeet and was struck by the similarity between these beautiful structures and the original Nest in Uruguay. In fact, some of these ancient domes feature an aperture at the apex, just as I had planned for Nest. This new installation draws on the deep history of the region, while inscribing the precision of modernity within its stone walls. The cloud at its center is a mystery, both easy to see and impossible to touch. Clouds carry with them the suggestion of the ineffable and immaterial, a reminder of the sacred beyond the particularities of faith and time."