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The Flag Project with Jacob Dahlgren

The A.R.M. Holding Children’s Programme since 2021 brings together artists and designers to closely collaborate with local schools through bespoke workshops. The programme provides UAE based school children with opportunities to grow and develop their interest and understanding of the arts by interacting with a roster of international artists and familiarising them with a wide range of art and design practices.

The third edition of the A.R.M Holding Children’s Programme featured Swedish artist Jacob Dahlgren and encouraged children to creatively and abstractly think about their environments through the use of everyday craft materials and scrap fabrics. Children took part in imagining and collaging together designs that were later sewn and transformed into flags. An extension of his ongoing project, Signs of Abstraction, the workshop acted as an invitation to engage abstractly with the context we inhabit, allowing the children to work together towards a common goal and create collaborative artworks: colourful tapestries and flags.


“In The Flag Project, abstraction is wrenched from the comfort of the canvas and taken out into the world. The project shows that everyone, regardless of background and prior knowledge, has the ability to create great art in a creative context.”


Following its successful launch at Art Dubai in March 2023, which saw over 260 students take part in 17 workshops, the programme expanded to more than 90 schools across the 7 Emirates and reached over 9,000 students over 6 weeks, considerably expanding in its scale from the previous edition which engaged over 5,500 students. 


A.R.M. Holding is a private investment firm and a multi-focused economic enabler investing in partnerships that reinforce Dubai’s position as the global capital of culture and innovation. It collaborates to that end with Art Dubai on a number of initiatives that foster young talent and creativity in the emirate.


Jacob Dahlgren is a Swedish artist whose work is concerned with the dialogue between pure formal abstraction and its position within a variable, complex and social shared culture. Dahlgren processes the mundane and normal into art, incorporating everyday materials such as coat hangers, rulers, coloured pencils, or disposable coffee cups. His works are often colourful, involve the audience, and take as their point of departure a playful approach to art and life.

Dahlgren’s relationship with everyday life is one of the pillars of his practice, and for over 35 years, he has collected pictures of abstract details in his daily life, creating an archive of more than 200,000 photos.

His longest project is Peinture Abstraite, where his work and his life become inseparable as he wears at least one striped t-shirt every day, which he has been doing for over 20 years and plans to do for the rest of his life.

In Dahlgren’s eyes, life consists of lots of abstract experiences, you just have to be receptive.

Image credit: Jean Baptiste Beranger

Past Editions of the A.R.M. Holding Children’s Programme

To learn more about A.R.M. Holding’s cultural activities, visit https://armholding.ae/en/socresp/