Last November, twenty inspirational Emirati women were photographed by Steve McCurry, throughout the 7 Emirates, each photograph a reflection of the crucial roles of the contemporary, vibrant and dynamic Emirati woman. The objective behind 7 Princesses is to actively build bridges between the UAE and international cultures presenting a unique and avant-garde point of view regarding the role of Emirati women within the society and their international influences.
"Steve McCurry is one of our muses in photography, he is the king of light. I am delighted to work with him on this project because he has his own unique way to tell stories and bring images alive. This project will give all cultures a chance to explore and understand the enlightenment of Emirati women through these images," says Safa Al Hamed, Managing Partner of The Empty Quarter. "Our vision is to create a centre of photography. We want to promote photographers both in the Middle East and internationally."
7 Princesses is the first collaborative exhibition between Steve McCurry and The Empty Quarter
and his second solo show with the gallery.
"I've been working with The Empty Quarter for a number of years and find them to be not only one of the best galleries in the Middle East, but also in the world. Photographing the seven Emirates for 7 Princesses, I was very intrigued and thought this would be a great new adventure and experience. I look forward to launching this very unique project with these incredibly accomplished women, from all of the seven Emirates," says photographer Steve McCurry.
Steve McCurry has been one of the most iconic figures in contemporary photography for more than thirty years. Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, McCurry studied cinematography at Pennsylvania State University, before going on to work for a newspaper. After two years, McCurry made his first of what would become many trips to India. Traveling with little more than a bag of clothes and film, he made his way across the subcontinent, exploring the country with his camera.
It was after several months of travel that he crossed the border into Pakistan. In a small village he met a group of refugees from Afghanistan, who smuggled him across the border into their country, just as the Russian invasion was closing the country to Western journalists. Emerging in traditional dress, with full beard and weather-worn features after months embedded with the Mujahideen, McCurry made his way over the Pakistan border with his film sewn into his clothes. McCurry's images were among the first to show the world the brutality of the Russian invasion.
Since then, McCurry has gone on to create unforgettable images over six continents and numerous countries. His body of work spans conflicts, vanishing cultures, ancient traditions and contemporary culture alike - yet always retains the human element that made his celebrated image of the Afghan Girl such a powerful image.
McCurry has been recognized with some of the most prestigious awards including the Robert Capa Gold Medal, National Press Photographers Award, and an unprecedented four first prize awards from the World Press Photo contest amongst dozens of others.