Water Pump

35.5 x 59 x 38 cm
Edition of 5/7 + 2AP
Signed and numbered by artist

upon request

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ABOUT Jamal Habroush Al Suwaidi
Born in 1971, Emirati artist Jamal Habroush Al Suwaidi's major concern stems from his relationship with the local and the global environment, and what it comprises from both historical stereotactic notions, and concepts arising from change and prosperity. In both dimensions, the artist works upon the significant idea and its endless innovations,...
— Read more about Jamal Habroush Al Suwaidi

About this artwork

Al Suwaidi's work explores the cycle of technological advancement and abandonment through an iconic component of agricultural history. 

The early days of agricultural production in the UAE and the innovation that helped to nurture the industry before the dawn of hi-tech advancements provide the inspiration for a new work by the Emirati artist Jamal Habroush Al Suwaidi.

Titled “Water Pump”, his latest work highlights the essential role that this machinery played in facilitating the cultivation of crops in what had been highly difficult terrain and conditions until then, while also reminding us that even the greatest inventions are almost always eventually replaced.

The water pump was a key component of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan’s vision, in his early days as Governor of Al Ain, for overcoming the seemingly insurmountable challenge of creating a viable agriculture industry in the desert. Dating back to the 1960s and operating through the 1970s, the iconic pumps were considered to be among the most important agricultural equipment for farmers, enabling them to extract water through pipes from underground wells that they could then use to plough their land and grow crops. 

Al Suwaidi explained that his fascination with the water pump extended across many levels, ranging from the powerful part it played in taking on nature and catalysing change, to the way in which it went from signalling the future to being eclipsed by new technology. He was also inspired by key physical aspects of the pumps including its resemblance to a film reel – an element that he built upon by exploring the documental component of the machine. “The water pump’s coincidental similarity to a film reel clipart is significant since, in many ways, it not only forms a key part of the early history of agriculture, but does indeed tell its story,” he noted. 

Created in an oasis-inspired, sapphire-green colour and made from acrylic, Water Pump brings an iconic aspect of Emirati agricultural history back to life, while giving it an extra layer of storytelling, which we have come to expect from this pioneering artist.

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