Beirut-born and Dubai-dwelling, Nadine Kanso represents the bi-coastal reality of many Arabs today – a reality that forms her work as both a photographer and Jewelry designer.
In 2006, Nadine created her Jewelry line, a complementary offshoot to her exploration of Arab identity, ‘Bil Arabi’, taking inspiration from the Arabic alphabet to craft rings, bracelets, pendants and earrings. Using 18-carat gold and embellished with an array of precious and semi-precious stones the Bil Arabi series (which is a literal translation of ‘In Arabic’), the collection is akin to bling bling with a Middle Eastern edge. Since then, Nadine has further developed her work on both fronts with a continued exploration of contemporary Arab identity with various photography exhibitions in Dubai and abroad and the expansion of Bil Arabi across the region and internationally, including Design Miami 2008 where she showcased her Jewelry as part of the Al Sabah Art and Design Gallery. Nadine has also seen her work sold at various auctions including Christie’s Dubai, with a specially commissioned piece during their Jewels and Watches: The Dubai Sale in April 2010.
Nadine's approach to her art is like her approach to life - to love, to live and to learn. She constantly explores new ways to express what it means to be an Arab in today's world; through her creative dialogue she masterfully confronts these issues, offering her own insightful observations yet leaving room for the individual to ponder.
Having spent her entire childhood in Beirut, Nadine later gained two degrees from the Lebanese American University - Communication Arts and Advertising Design. These degrees, along with her faithful appreciation for all things art and fashion laid the foundation for her work in design and photography today.
Nadine worked in various design-related fields along with several stints in journalism, before she began dedicating all her time to photography and Jewelry design. With a clear passion for Arab culture and in particular, expressing it through a contemporary visual framework, Nadine’s work underwent a directional change after she was invited to exhibit at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London as part of a group exhibition entitled "Arabize Me" in 2006.
Later that year, she adapted the exhibit for a solo show at B21 Gallery in Dubai, with a collection that included a series of portraits depicting Arabs from across the region with an eclectic mix of artistic, creative and cultural milieus entitled, 'Who I Am' or 'Meen Ana' in Arabic.