Dear Readers,

Thank you for stopping by. When I relocated to Dubai five years ago, I initially began my writing career as a blogger, Danna Writes. I was the only person consistently blogging about Dubai’s emerging gallery scene at the time, and as a result gained a large, interactive readership almost immediately.  After the first year I transitioned into the role of full time writer and editor and stopped blogging (though I still remain active on social media). You can still read my blog archives in this portion of the website, but this space now mainly serves as a platform for viewing my publications and connecting.

I appreciate your interest in my writing and would be pleased  to hear from you. You can drop me a line at: or we can link up on social media here


Towards A Culture Of Critique In The Visual Arts Of The Gulf Region

Ka'ak Al Quds, Khaled Jarrar. Courtesy of the artist and Ayyam Gallery, 2015
The Soldier As Artist: Khaled Jarrar Chisels Away At The Wall

Tamer Elsawy, Losing My Virginity, pencil sketch
Sukoon: The Arab Literary Salon Opens Its Virtual Doors In English

Shirin Neshat, Speechless from the Women of Allah series, 1996, gelatin silver print and ink. Courtesy of the artist and LACMA
From The Harem To The Revolution: Worn Out Images Of Middle Eastern Women In Art

Tunnel in the Sky (Variation 2, Chapters I-IV), collage cut mat over monoprint
Close The Language Door: Ala Ebtekar’s ‘Nowheresville’

Screenshot 4, Typing Syria
Typing Syria: Whatsapp As Performance Art Or Awareness Campaign?

Altarpiece.2015. Transfer print and acrylic on paper on canvas
Melting Machismo: Nadia Kaabi-Linke’s Fahrenheit 311

RCA Secret Dubai Democratizes Art Dubai By Keeping Artists’ Names Secret

Rocks Wrapped With Rope, Digital C-prints, 1994-1995
The Illusion Of Repetition: In Conversation With Land Artist Mohammed Ahmed Ibrahim

Studying a Jamil Molaeb at the Galerie Janine Rubeiz boooth in the Art Dubai modern section
A Love Letter To Color: Art Dubai 2015

Abdullah Al Saadi, Scarecrows, 2013, Mixed-media installation. Courtesy of the artist. Installation view, Sharjah Biennial 12. Image courtesy of Sharjah Art Foundation. Photo by Alfredo Rubio
Sharjah Biennial 12: The Right to the City

Studio shot at AUD
Flawed Beauty: In Conversation With Mohammed Hindash

The Abandoned Kalba Ice Factory Becomes An Installation Site For Sharjah Biennial 12

Image courtesy of Sharjah Art Foundation
The Flying Saucer At Sharjah Biennial 12

The procession through the streets of Sharjah. Courtesy of Sharjah Art Foundation
Papy Ebotani’s Fanfare Funérailles At Sharjah Biennial 12

Highlights From Sharjah Biennial 12: Lady Liberty’s Musk, Modern Arab Masters, And More

I shot this image from inside the majlis. The shading of the windows gave a rose tinted glow to the garden beyond, where a group of visitors enjoyed an impromptu glass of rose water in the bright sunshine
Entry Point SB12: Rirkrit Tiravanija’s Ode To Roses In Calligraphy Square

Eduardo Navarro's work 'XYZ' is a children's game that will be played throughout the SB12 opening. Here, one of the artist's PVC balls sits in wait within one of the Foundation's many courtyards. Image by Danna Lorch.
Sharjah Biennial 12: Opening Impressions

Kalfayan Galleries. Raed Yassin, Ruins In Space, 2014. Archival inkjet print, text, sound, speaker, record cover, vinyl record, wood dimensions variable Courtesy Kalfayan Galleries, Athens – Thessaloniki
Preview: MENAM At Armory 2015

Yazan, Fayrouz on Gemmayzeh Street (Beirut) via Facebook
Is Beirut Going Blank? New National Policy Threatens City’s Street Art

Louvre Abu Dhabi, Design by Jean Nouvel, Copyright Tourism Development and Investment Company
The Louvre Abu Dhabi: Prestige Project Or Paradigm Shift?

West bank spring wedding, Zaffa, street celebration entrance, 2013. Photo by Tanya Habjouqa @habjouqa
Everyday Middle East: More Than Camels

Hazem Harb and his sketches. Courtesy of Salsali Private Museum
The Moving Studio: In Conversation With Hazem Harb

Bradley and Weaver's ‘A Model Studio’ inspired by Atari code. Photo by Darwin Guevarra.
The Model Studio: Sound Artists Fari Bradley And Chris Weaver In Conversation

Trompe-l’œil  by Ammar Abo Bakr, Mohamed Elmoshir, Layla Magued, Hanaa El Degham and team, Sheikh Rihan Street, Cairo. Photo by Munir Sayegh.
Walls Of Freedom Documents The Art Of The Egyptian Revolution

Studio Shot, Sara Rahbar. Image courtesy of Sueraya Shaheen
The Worker’s Trap: An Interview With Sara Rahbar

Another view of Doa Aly's 'Deer in Headlights'
The Changing Face Of Public Art In Dubai: The Arab Fund For Art And Culture Commissions 5 Public Artworks In Historic Shindagha

The cARTel Magazine PDF medium-62
Underground Art: Dubai’s Industrial Area Of Al Quoz

Saner - Copyrights Aline Deschamps - Galerie Itinerrance
The Djerbahood Project: Street Art in Dialogue with the People of Tunisia

Exterior Shot of 'Declaration' installed in one of Tashkeel's outdoor spaces where eL Seed often worked
A Street Artist Tackles Sculpture: In The Studio With EL Seed

Calligrafitti by Letters to Wear juror and street artist eL Seed. Image courtesy of eL Seed.
Letters To Wear: Appreciating Arabic Typography

The Gamcha Project, Mixed Media, Gamcha, Photography, and other materials woven on a hand loom, 2013-2014
The Gamcha Project

GCC, Figure B: Micro Council, 2013, Wood, brass, acrylic glass, glass, gold leaf, paint, Installation view at GCC: Achievements in Retrospective, 2014, Sharjah Art Foundation Art Spaces; Image courtesy of Sharjah Art Foundation
GCC: Achievements In Retrospective

Dan Flavin, untitled to Virginia Dwan 2, 1971, blue, yellow, pink, and red fluorescent light. Courtesy of David Zwimer Gallery and Abu Dhabi Art
Sculpture Carves Out A Place At Abu Dhabi Art

Martin Creed and an accompanying performance artist. Image courtesy of The Cool Box and Abu Dhabi Art
What Is Art? Martin Creed Doesn’t Know

Ten Things Not To Miss At Abu Dhabi Art

Inside 'Lest We Forget: Structures of Memory in the UAE'
The Venice Internship Program At The National Pavilion United Arab Emirates La Biennale Di Venezia

Creekside's entrance
Creekside Brings Emirati Heritage And Flavors To Old Dubai

Barkovsky's 'Gypsy Madonna #6'
Gypsy Madonnas: Alexander Barkovsky’s Uzbek Lithographs In Dubai

The Fruit of the Lotus, Djerba, Tunisia, 2014
A Curious Affinity For Blue: In Conversation With Street Artist Myneandyours

The Open Skies feature
The Rise Of Dubai Street Art

My September Art Diary: Essential UAE Openings And Exhibitions Not To Miss

The Chicken, 1993. “This is so typical of a country without supermarkets— you buy meat live in the market and take it home to be killed and eaten.”
Max Pam’s Unquenchable Wanderlust: Ramadan In Yemen

Thank You For Your Cooperation, 2014. Coated metal and neon
FOMO And Selfies: Thank You For Your Cooperation By :MentalKlinik At Gallery Isabelle Van Den Eynde

Kamal Boullata, Bilqis 2, 2013. Acrylic on canvas. Courtesy of the artist and Meem.
Walking On Water: Kamal Boullata’s Bilqis

Nihal at Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi, UAE
The Untitled Chair Project: A Collection Of Portraits On Polaroids Inspired By The UAE

The limited edition print at Capsule Arts
Khalid Mezaina’s Porta-Mosque

The Antiquities Artist: Kate Toledo

One of the greenhouses at Emirates Hydroponics Farms. Photo courtesy of Rebecca Rees
Emirates Hydroponics Farms: Growing Green In The Desert

The building once served as a major souk where the people of Sharjah would pick up everything from carpets to everyday groceries like honey and coffee
My First Majlis: Sharjah Museum Of Islamic Civilization Hosts A Special Exhibition From The Vatican

Holly Hendry, Homeostasis, 2014, installation, metal pipes, pillows, wadding, meranti wood, fan, initial 3D drawing
Sharjah Art Foundation: Providing A Serious Platform For Contemporary Art In The UAE

3, glicée print (2014)
Automatic Art: Hazem Mahdy’s ‘Atman’ At Carbon 12 Dubai

A sampler of Paul's favorite font: Bebas Neue
Just Your Type: UAE Artisanal Printers And Stationers To Know

Maryam, mixed media on canvas, 2014. Courtesy of the artist.
Hadil Moufti’s Serialism In Red

In Search of Magic II (2014)
Peeling Off The Layers: An Interview With Noor Al Suwaidi

Samia Halaby in her Studio
Choosing Abstraction: A Conversation With The Palestinian Painter Samia Halaby

Photograph by Balazs Gardi
Uncommon Dubai: This City Has A Soul

Mubarik Jafery's shields mounted in the FN Designs gallery
Where The Heroes At? Pop Artist Mubarik Jafery Says They’re Right Here Among Us

Maryam Al Qassimi, "Morals of Eating," research image, 2014.
The Sunlight Filled Courtyard: An Interview With Artists In Residence Curator Ipek Ulusoy Akgul

Street Art Beirut
The Place Poet: Zeina Hashem Beck Remembers Beirut

My first and last selfie in the Art Dubai bathroom. Nadia Ayari's "Selfie Booth WC" is behind me. I wasn't bold enough to sneak into the men's room to see the other fresco.
Nadia Ayari’s Bathroom Selfies At Art Dubai

An Art Bus passenger admiring Dua Abbas' fairytale pastels at Mussawir Gallery
Paper Planes And Paintings: Riding The Art Bus

Baya, Femme à la robe rose (1945), Courtesy of Galerie El Marsa
Impressions Of Art Dubai 2014

Abdulnasser Gharem at Ayyam DIFC
Art Nights In Dubai: Too Much Is A Good Thing

Image of Open Skies
Creative Community

The 3rd Edition Of Design Days Dubai Pushes The Boundaries Between Art & Design

Installation 5
The Land Artist: Mohammed Ibrahim’s ‘Primordial’ At Cuadro Art

Installation shot. ‘Bleed’ is straight ahead, ‘And They Still Seek Traces of Blood’ is behind, and a selection of miniatures hang to the left.
Imran Qureshi And Perylene Maroon

Lynton and Hana reading up on Khaled Hafez at Meem Gallery
A Curator’s Role: My Review Of Chelsea College Of Arts’ Short Course In Dubai

Flux Legion (2013), oil on canvas diptych
Lords Of Misrule: Ross Chisholm’s ‘Testament’

Dorothy and Herb Vogel worked as a librarian and a post office clerk, earning a meager salary their entire lives yet were able to amass one of the most illustrious collections in America.
The Courage To Collect: Falling In (Art) Love

A vintage 1950's Hermes typewriter from Honeystick Vintage on etsy

Asad Faulwell Les Femmes d'Alger #29, 2013. Courtesy of the artist and Lawrie Shabibi
Runny Mascara: Asad Faulwell’s Portraits Of The Women Of Algiers At Lawrie Shabibi

Rays of Eternal Union, 2013. Acrylic, collage, pencil, oil, on paper mounted to canvas
Amir H. Fallah Deconstructs The Portrait

Alex Lovejoy is one of the Mawaheb artists to contribute to the group exhibition. His Frida Kahlo inspired portraits appear behind him.
Mawaheb From Beautiful People: An Interview With Alex Loveday

A closeup of the Van Cleef & Arpels headquarters and place that is home to the L'Ecole where the winner of this year's prize will study
The 2014 Middle East Emergent Artist Prize Announced

Published in the Jan 2014 issue of Good Magazine (Motivate Press)
How To Create Your Very Own Literary Salon

Sibeel Water VII
Water And Prayers: An Interview With Emirati Photographer Ammar Al Attar

Soon I’ll be the girl in the pretty dress at the art opening snapping away on my cool camera
A Review Of The Digital Photography Level 1 Course At Gulf Photo Plus

Ta Da! Here is the final result, a community collaboration that can be enjoyed by everyone
Street Artists EL Seed And Ruben Sanchez Color In Dubai

Here is Maria posing next to her clutches and paint. She even designed her own dress!
Pop Art Proposes To Fashion

The Archive in Safa Park is part cafe, part community space
The Magazine Fair Brings The Entire Community Out For A Day In The Park At The Archive

Honey. Acrylic on canvas.
Romero Britto At Opera Gallery: Commercial Is Not Always A Bad Thing!

Comic Con. Dubai, 2012. Printed on 100% Cotton Rag, Archival Fine Art Paper
Jaime Puebla Opens His Cabinet Of Curiosities At Gulf Photo Plus

Maze 50. Acrylic screen print. Acid on copper primed canvas, 2012.
Michael Sailstorfer Is Against Simple Art!

Sobia Ahmed, Mixed Media on Wasli
Here And Now: Contemporary Miniatures From Pakistan At Mussawir Art Gallery

Dubai Moving Image Museum is located in the MCN building in Dubai's TECOM neighborhood
The Magic Lantern: A Private Tour Of The Dubai Moving Image Museum

A thought bubble from Ruben Sanchez's Imagination
Skaters And Street Art: Ruben Sanchez Brings The B-Side To Tashkeel In Dubai

Quoz Happens Pixlr
QUOZhappens To Dubai Once Again On 23 November

Me freelancing in the Press Centre at Sharjah International Book Fair with the other writers. Obviously my laptop is the only Tiffany blue one!
Life Of A Freelance Writer: 32nd Sharjah International Book Fair

The article was laid out beautifully by the team over at Good Magazine. I have a design crush on their layout!
Made In The UAE: How To Collect Affordable Art

Fallen Angel. Digital image, print on Hahnemuhle German Etching Paper, Archival Dibond Mount.
Forsaken: Photographer Christian Ghammachi Is Addicted To Solitude. Africa Comes To Showcase Gallery

‘Wind Tower’ by Illustrator Khalid Mezaina, one of the creatives profiled in 'Mawahib'
Precious Book: Mawahib Is A Directory Of Emirati Creative Talent And Is The Brainchild Of Graphic Designer Mariam Bin Natoof

'Untitled' (Persian Miniature Series) Ink, Acrylic and Pencil on Paper. 2011
It’s Not About Religion! Aidan Salakhova’s First Middle East Solo Show Comes To Cuadro Gallery

Gallery shot from ‘The Lure of Beauty’
Sartorial Heaven In Sharjah

“For every unique feature that makes you different from the 7 billion other people in this world, there is one feature that makes us the same – we are all people, and we are all worth the same amount.  It’s quite simple really.”
The Sameness Project: Creating Moments Of Sameness Every Day In Dubai

'Adventures in Needlework' by Jessica Aldred & Emily Peacock
Adventures In Needlework With Jessica Aldred

Splitting, oil on canvas, 2012.
The Fountain And The Fig: A Conversation With Nadia Ayari About Poetry, Politics, And Paint

The popular kids looking good
Art Snobs!

Bismillah Driving Center Oct 2013
My October Arts & Culture Calendar

‘Evening Cranes’, Alia Dawood. Mixed media on paper.
The Dubai Investigations: In Conversation With Alia Dawood

Maria Iqbal's designs are one of a kind. I'd be able to recognize them anywhere
Maria Iqbal Is Not A Fine Artist! My Interview With Dubai’s Pop Designer

Larissa Sansour, Manger Square, 2012
Science Faction: Larissa Sansour’s Solo Show At Lawrie Shabibi Contextualizes Palestine In Sci-Fi

United Nations (Yoda & King Faisal) by Shaweesh. Handprinted photo etching, 2013.
Good Thing I Left My Credit Card At Home: My Evening At Ayyam Gallery’s Young Collectors Auction

Talking Fairies, Pearls, And Abayas With The Sisters Behind Endemage: My Interview With The Omani Fashion Design Duo

I had a lot of names to take down at The Ayyam Gallery. Thank goodness by good friend N gave me this very appropriate notebook from Archie Grand.
Dubai’s Art Season Opens With A Bang: My Social Diary From Alserkal Avenue’s Art Night

I Dream of You. From the Series ‘Aporia,' 2012.
I Dream Of You: An Interview With Jung Lee On Her Solo Show At Green Art Gallery

Monther Jawabreh distributing a stone to a West Bank girl
The Masked: Giving Stones Away In The Streets With Palestinian Artist Monther Jawabreh

My September Arts & Culture Calendar

Vintage Royal Typewriter Advertisement, circa 1957. Available on Etsy from French Frou Frou
The Cure For Writer’s Block

My Name Is Danna Lorch And I’d Like To Adopt Salsali Private Museum

Senna: A curved hut constructed very precisely of locally found wood and tree pods beckons exploration. Mobius Design Studio in collaboration with Faysal Tabbarah. Computer generated render (2013)
Q&A With Sara Raza, Curator Of The Beginning Of Thinking Is Geometric: Maraya Art Centre Part 2

Katy Perry wearing an Amato creation in her video, Wide Awake. Image by Amato Haute Couture
Glittering Dresses, Pop Princesses, And Make Believe: My Exclusive Interview With Furne One Of Amato Haute Couture

The Book Shelter’s library branch at Maraya Community Centre
I Heart Sharjah: Maraya Art Centre (Part 1)

Caligraffiti giant square by El Seed for Luis Vuitton
Poetry And Calligrafiti: EL Seed’s Collaboration With Louis Vuitton

The Handmade Revolution: ReMade Dxb Brings Make, Do, And Mend Back Into Style

Danna at her desk. Photograph by Sueraya Shaheen

At first glance the art world’s intimidation factor can be off the charts
The Top 5 Myths About Visiting Art Galleries And Openings

Islamic Architecture Meets Hipster Colorblocking: Rana Begum’s No. 10

Kash and Danna with the #besomebody Dubai tag in the background
Tagging Dubai: My Interview With Kash Shaikh, Founder & CEO Of #Besomebody

Exhibition view, Traces, 2013. Lawrie Shabibi (Dubai)
A Scientist And A Philosopher: An Interview With Shahpour Pouyan At Lawrie Shabibi

Exterior of the Museum of Fine Arts Budapest
Afternoon Tea And Fairytales: A Conversation With Dianne Brown, Dubai’s Art Consultant And Logistics Specialist

The Canopi Bowl as photographed by Steve Nesser
Arabic’s Inherent Skateability: A Visit To Tashkeel’s Ramp And Canopi Bowl

the burning
Identity And Belonging In A Bewildering World: Nadia Khawaja’s In Search Of Me At Grey Noise Gallery In Dubai

The Arabian Allure: The Secret History Of The Middle East’s Most Famous Cosmetics

“Golden Hour” from the Desert of Pharon Series, 2012
Ahmed Mater Shines A Physician’s Flashlight Into The Developing Art Scene Of Saudi Arabia

Street Art In Egypt After The Revolution: An Interview With Keizer

Untitled by Farah Al-Qasimi
Hung From The Moon, An Interview With Farah Al-Qasimi

Danna Writes IN Magazine
Where The Cool Kids Are: Dubai’s Emerging Art Scene Draws Crowds

Image: Banipal Books, UK
Review Of Knife Sharpener By The Assyrian Iraqi Poet Sargon Boulus Published In Diode

I’m Going Zaiioneese

freedom grafitti by tammam azaam
What You Don’t Know About Tammam Azzam And The Syrian Revolution: An Exclusive Interview With The Artist

Click on the image to read and download the PDF.
My Son Plays With Dolls: Playing Across Gender Lines In The Arab World