Jalal Abuthina – The 3 Orbs

Jalal Abuthina – The 3 Orbs

By Arden de Raaij

Photographer Jalal Abuthina was  born in Dublin and is from Irish/Libyan descent. He’s been all across the globe and currently lives in Dubai. Jalal’s most recent series, ‘The 3 Orbs’, is focussed around three orb-like objects sighted in Dubai over the past 12 months. From the press release: “Despite substantial video and photographic evidence by independent witnessing sources that has been submitted to the local authorities and international press, absolutely no explanation or information related to the objects has been publicly provided. Since March, military aircraft activity over the city has also increased drastically in activity, also with no reason or explanation publicly announced as to why it is happening.

What they are, where they came from, and what their purpose is , is still unknown and shrouded in complete mystery. Despite drastic increases in sightings over the past few months, all reports by residents related to the sightings have involved and described 3 different coloured objects. All with the exception of one particular sighting by a security guard at an abandoned construction site in Jumierah Lake Towers, who came across something entirely different...

Instead of in a formal gallery this series is exhibited in the Japanese Bentoya restaurant in Dubai. This was partially due to necessity as Jalal explains: “Because of how formal and seriously art is perceived here most of the time, I wanted to set the exhibition up outside the gallery world and to more importantly have the general public and tourists have some exposure to locally produced artwork. That unfortunately hardly happens here because international big name artists (whose work usually has no relation to the city) often get priority to the public spaces over the many quality artists who live and work in Dubai, and who are making great artwork that is much more significant to the city (and far more interesting trust me). I approached the restaurant about the project because I liked the fact that it was a quirky small intimate space and thought it would suit. Fortunately the Japanese owner is a Sci-Fi fan and he really liked the work, and was keen on the idea of exhibiting the series so it turned out nicely

As for the Orbs? “The “Orbs” are all 1$ Chinese lanterns, and for the very high aerial shots I used Smarties chocolates of the same colour that were thrown into the air.  To obtain the  forced perspective “illusion” element of them flying, I shot the aerial shots through a wide angel lens to obtain the desired effect. Other then slight colour adjustments, there is no false photo manipulation or intervention.

Nothing to worry about people! The series consists out of 28 photographs in total which are still viewable in the Japanese Bentoya restaurant, Dubai. All are also available on postcard and a selection as framed prints. Check out some more of Jalal Abuthina’s beautiful photography work here and here