Sacha Jafri and GEMS Wellington International School students team up to help create the world's largest art canvas

25 October 2020

Dubai, UAE: GEMS Wellington International School students are set to celebrate their roles as part of a world-record breaking artistic achievement after working alongside renowned artist, Sacha Jafri, to create the largest painting on canvas.

The painting by Dubai-based UK artist, Jafri, measures almost 1600 metres squared, covering the entire floor of all four ballrooms at Atlantis, The Palm, Dubai. It is expected to receive Guinness World Record recognition.

Children from around the world were asked to submit their artwork around the themes of Isolation and Connection during COVID-19 lockdown for Jafri to take inspiration from. He then selected some of the artworks of GEMS Wellington International pupils, which most inspired him, and those selected were then invited to spend the afternoon with Jafri via Zoom.

The lucky pupils made their way to the GEMS Wellington International School theatre to dial in to Sacha at the Atlantis on the Palm where he gave a live virtual tour of his creation and pupils shared the inspiration behind their own pieces.

Sacha Jafri said: “I was overwhelmed with the engagement of the children from GEMS Wellington International School, the thought and emotions they had put into their individual artworks was truly inspiring for the creation of my painting, ‘The Journey of Humanity’.

“To then be able to actually connect with the children over Zoom and hear their own words and voices touched my soul. It is about connecting the world and seeing a better future through the hearts, minds and souls of the children of the world.”

Hakan Erkam, Head of Art and Design at GEMS Wellington International School, said: “Sacha was truly inspirational. His passion and commitment to art was obvious and inspiring. He showed individual interest in every student; he analysed their work explaining the reasons for selection and how the art pieces will be used as a part of this giant artwork. Sacha also told the students some fascinating stories which they can treasure and remember all their lives. Sacha helped our students to learn how to ‘think big’ and aim for their best in whatever they do.”

Janet Khambhati, Year 2 (ages 6-7), GEMS Wellington International School, and the youngest pupil to take part in this fabulous opportunity, said: “I was selected by Sacha for my painting of doctors and nurses. I went on to the stage and we talked all about our art work and asked him questions. I saw the biggest painting that Sacha Jafri created. It was super awesome,” she said

Jafri mentioned in the Zoom session that he was able to stay inspired for the many months of creation from receiving all the artwork from the hundreds of children from around 140 countries.

As the only school in Dubai to officially engage directly with Jafri in this record-breaking accomplishment, the participating GEMS Wellington International School pupils were also invited to attend the unveiling of the painting, which will be held in the Atlantis ballroom itself later in the year.

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