Artist Jim Denevan Installs 448 Handmade Pyramids Mandala-Style In Abu Dhabi; Sight To Behold!

Mesmerising geometry on display in Abu Dhabi’s Fahid Island

by Deeplata Garde
Artist Jim Denevan Installs 448 Handmade Pyramids Mandala-Style In Abu Dhabi; Sight To Behold!

In a captivating fusion of art and engineering, American artist Jim Denevan has unveiled a striking public art installation. Find his latest artistic element on Abu Dhabi’s Fahid Island. Named “Self Similar,” the masterpiece comprises 448 hand-formed pyramids meticulously arranged in 19 concentric rings. Get ready to witness a magnificent mandala across nearly a square kilometre of the landscape.

Manar Abu Dhabi Initiative


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A post shared by Jim Denevan (@jimdenevan)

This awe-inspiring creation is a pivotal part of Manar Abu Dhabi, a groundbreaking initiative dedicated to celebrating public art and illuminating the city’s landmarks with radiant light. Beyond its visual allure, the project aspires to spotlight Abu Dhabi’s rich cultural tapestry and heritage, providing a glimpse into its forward-looking vision.

Nature’s Influence On Art: Denevan’s Vision

Renowned for transforming vast expanses of sand into precise geometries, Denevan drew inspiration from nature’s inherent patterns. Describing his work as an invitation to immerse oneself in a unique landscape experience—simultaneously meditative and playful—Denevan weaves an enchanting narrative through “Self Similar.”

Installation on Abu Dhabi’s Fahid Island


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Situated alongside the Arabian Sea on Fahid Island in Abu Dhabi, visitors can access the installation through a bridge meticulously aligned with its geometric configuration. Describing the creative process, Denevan states, “As I draw and shape these forms, an invitation is made; it emerges. An ‘entering into’ takes place,” encapsulating the essence of traversing through the composition. Encompassing nearly a square kilometer, the artwork consists of 19 rings and 448 pyramids, with its pinnacle soaring to a height of 27 meters.

Denevan, also a chef, founded Outstanding in the Field in 1999, a venture inviting individuals to gather and dine at temporary tables set in breathtaking locations, leaving the site untouched upon departure. His site notes, “In the tables he sets and the land artworks he creates, there is an element of organic impermanence at play.” The scale of his installations varies widely, ranging from small beach compositions to expansive city interventions that span miles, each uniquely responding to its designated site.

A Cultural Extravaganza


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A post shared by Jim Denevan (@jimdenevan)

The Manar Abu Dhabi exhibition extends until January 30, 2024, and further insights can be explored on Denevan’s website. Additionally, an immersive experience awaits in a music video directed by Owen Brown of CTRL5, featuring the band ARIZONA. The video unfolds around a 90,000-square-foot installation crafted by Denevan in a dry riverbed in the American Southwest.

The realization of “Self Similar” demanded meticulous coordination with local authorities and stakeholders. Also a  profound respect for the environmental and cultural sensitivities of the site was needed. “Self Similar” transcends its role as a visual spectacle; it stands as a testament to the transformative power of art and engineering. Inviting viewers to explore, interact, and connect with the landscape and one another, the installation creates a unique and memorable experience—a testament to the boundless possibilities that art and engineering can unfold.

Also Read: Come April 2024, You Will Be Able To Fly To Bali Directly From Abu Dhabi With Etihad Airways

To Sum Up

Accessible to the public until January 30, 2024, “Self Similar” mirrors its geometric precision. The installation also offers a striking aerial view. It leaves an indelible impression on visitors and residents alike. Also, this contributes to the evolving artistic tapestry of Abu Dhabi.

Cover Image Courtesy: Insta/ Jim Denevan
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