As a Dubai-grown company, Capsule Arts feels strongly about supporting talent and creating opportunities for artists and designers in the region through artwork sales and commissions. Capsule Arts X Collabs is an initiative where Capsule Arts commissions a local artist/designer to realise a creative project without the limitations of a client brief. Stemming from the Collab initiative is the notebook project where local artists are invited to submit their proposals under a concept theme and are encouraged to let their creativity flow through their unique artistic expression. The much-anticipated final result is then produced as a limited-edition series and shared with the design community. For the 2020 notebook project, Capsule Arts chose to highlight one of the UAE’s most prominent achievements to date, Expo 2020.

Ichraq Bouzidi’s distinctive illustrative style resulted in three artworks that collectively emulate Expo 2020’s main theme “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future”. Whilst cohesively reflecting the main theme as a set, when disconnected from one another, each artwork echoes Expo 2020’s three sub-themes: Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability. To highlight the sub-theme opportunity, Bouzidi chose to symbolically illustrate through the artwork titled Connected, that no matter how different we are, we are still linked by the thread of life. The artist defines her illustration All of Us, under the Ghaf Tree as “a call to sustainable togetherness”. Bouzidi chose to emphasise a distinct memory from childhood, the traditional school picture.

The group of people in the picture under the Ghaf tree speaks to the diversity and inclusivity of the UAE society. Chasing Dreams, to the Moon and Back was inspired by the saying ‘the Sky’s the limit’. Moreover, during the time Bouzidi was creating the illustration, Hazza Al Mansouri embarked on his mission to the International Space Station. Ichraq states “From reaching space to flying paper-planes, there is no limits but the ones we set ourselves”.