Filipino winner of Dubai Waterfront Market mural competition inspired by sustainability

The artist, who lives in Dubai, has won Dh30,000 for his mural

Artist Jayson Soberon has won the sixth Waterfront Mural prize winner for his artwork titled Sustainability. Photo: Antonie Robertson/The National
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The Deira Waterfront Market has unveiled the winner of its annual Dh30,000 Murals and Art competition.

Filipino artist Jayson Soberon’s mural, titled Sustainability, was created under the theme of Art for Change. This year's theme invited artists to create a mural that was inspired by Cop28's vision for a sustainable world last year, and the UAE’s future commitment to sustainability.

“It feels incredible and I’m grateful at the same time,” Soberon tells The National about winning the prize.

“I hope that people will feel inspired, happy and positive when they see my work.”

An initiative by The Waterfront Market and Dubai Culture and Arts Authority, the art competition, now in its sixth year, aims to inspire and foster young artists across the country to create work and think about their place in the creative community and in the UAE.

Soberon’s mural depicts an Emirati father and son looking across the UAE landscape as they are surrounded with symbols of the local environment's ecosystem, such as palm tree, dates and marine life. Behind them, solar panels and windmills tower in front of the UAE flag, which envelops them all in an embrace, while the Dubai skyline frames the top third of the mural.

“For me, sustainability is the key for preserving our planet,” Soberon adds.

“It's a good practice to help countries grow in ways that adapt to the challenges posed by climate change and other threats to the environment.”

Soberon’s mural was based on his research on the UAE's Sustainability Development Goals. He used their objectives for a sustainable future to create the imagery in his work, a vision for a world where nature, technology and people can co-exist harmoniously.

Soberon hopes that his permanent display space at Deira's Waterfront Market will inspire people as he believes art is an important vehicle to convey ideas and messages.

“Art is considered one of the forms of communication,” he says.

“It creates awareness, it helps audiences understand important messages through visuals.”

Updated: February 15, 2024, 8:53 AM