Traces of Time by Abdalla AlMulla
Brush finished antique stainless steel, acrylic and LEDs.
125 (L) x 5 (D) x 47 (H) cm.
Limited edition series of 10.
Stretching to the horizon and making up the vast majority of the natural landscape, sand dunes are the most symbolic characteristic of the United Arab Emirates. These iconic formations change shape over time, sculpting the interaction of air and sand; a direct manifestation of the push and pull of wind on mounds of sand. An integral contributing part of Bedouin communities in the UAE, the multifaceted dimensions of a dune, changing from the first-person view to top-down photography, make it a remarkable and ever-evolving part of the UAE’s natural environment, continuing to provide shelter to a diverse ecological system.
Traces of Time is the concluding result of Abdalla’s detailed studies of dune phenomena through wind patterns. The product explores the formation of sand dunes, allowing the user to experience this natural phenomenon through the passage of time and the movement of light. Inspired by the process of formation of the rich geometry and patterns that exist in the desert landscape, Abdalla designed a product that looks at time, light and movement.
The built-in timer moves light across the timepiece, gradually illuminating each of the six profiles as the day progresses, using two different colours of light to represent day and night. As the light moves, it brightens each numeral positioned in front of the profiles to indicate the current time. Abdalla designed the main acrylic feature of Traces of Time to mimic the official wind studies and graphs of Dubai in 2018 – 2019.
Using this data alongside visual studies through drone photography, Abdalla was able to bring together the aesthetic and topographic elements of the natural landscape in a design piece that transports a visual indication of dune formation into a domestic environment. The body of the piece incorporates antique brass finish, evoking the UAE’s heritage and ensuring the product retains its solidity and quality to stand the test of time.