Kaneka Subberwal

Fair Director and Head of Project

Kaneka Subberwal has many firsts to her credit and she has built on this pioneering spirit to make her vision her mission. She has persisted despite all odds to turn what seemed like an impossible dream into reality – putting Bahrain on the map as far as art is concerned.

Her initiative is to make Bahrain a focal point for art in the West Asian region and establish a forward-thinking platform to promote the growth of art in the country. This has come to fruition as a result of BAAB – Bahrain Art Across Borders – an initiative powered by Tamkeen to take the art of the artists of Bahrain across borders globally.

Kaneka arrived in Bahrain in 2008 with her company Art Select and set up Bahrain’s first art lounge, further expanding it into the field of art consultancy which included artists, collectors, families and corporate offices within the ambit of the arts. She organized a number of art shows across the country – with ArtBahrain being a culmination of sorts, the impact it has had is commendable, especially since art fairs are a relatively new phenomenon in the region.

She aspires to create a common space for galleries and artists from around the globe to connect with collectors and art aficionados, whilst remaining hopeful that neighbouring Arab States will be more proactive in investing in and promoting their contemporary artists to the world.

With regards to organizing art exhibitions, her portfolio is impressive by any standards as she has organized a total of 57 and counting. She began in 2005 with shows in Dubai, London, Oman and Doha and the outreach of the expositions was such that she was able to bring in many new buyers and collectors within the ambit of the arts. As an art investment expert, not only did she learn to wear different hats, but also carry them with great responsibility and aplomb.

2018 International Selection Committee

Alistair Hicks

Chair, Gallery Selection, co-Curator

Alistair Hicks worked as Senior Curator at Deutsche Bank for twenty years, where he was involved in naming the sixty floors of the Frankfurt headquarters after artists from around the world. While at Deutsche Bank his main job was selecting and presenting art to purchase committees. He has left Deutsche Bank to concentrate on his curating, writing and advising his collectors.

His latest book is a survey of 21st century art, The Global Art Compass, Thames and Hudson (2014). In November 2015 Yapi Kredi published a Turkish edition with an extra chapter on Turkish artists. Hicks has been an art critic for such diverse publications as The Spectator, The Times and Vogue.

He wrote School of London (Phaidon, 1989) and New British Art in the Saatchi Collection, (Thames & Hudson, 1989). In 2015 he was the curator of two one-man exhibitions at Kumu, the National Gallery of Estonia, those of Raymond Pettibon and Marko Maetamm. In May 2017 he is curating an exhibition at the Pera Museum in Istanbul, Doublethink: Doublevision.

Jonathan Watkins

Chair, Artist Selection, co-Curator

Jonathan Watkins has been Director of Ikon Gallery since 1999. Previously he worked for a number of years in London, as Curator of the Serpentine Gallery (1995-1997) and Director of Chisenhale Gallery (1990-1995).

He has curated a number of large international exhibitions including the Biennale of Sydney (1998), Facts of Life: Contemporary Japanese Art (Hayward Gallery, London 2001), Quotidiana (Castello di Rivoli, Turin 1999, Tate Triennial (2003), Shanghai Biennale (2006), Sharjah Biennial (2007), Negotiations (Today Art Museum, Beijing 2010) and the Guangzhou Triennial (2012). He was on the curatorial team for Europarte (Venice Biennale, 1997), Milano Europa 2000, (Palazzo di Triennale, Milan 2000), and Riwaq (Palestinian Biennial 2007).

He curated the Iraqi Pavilion for the Venice Biennale 2013.



David Hawkins

Head of Outreach

David Hawkins is the Head of Outreach and VIP Relations for ArtBAB.

David spent over five years working for notable Indian industrialist SK Modi, a large part of the role was the development of his art foundation, Arts for India and the creation in London of Indian Art Week. During this time he also worked with a number of anglo-Indian artists.

He is an advisor to AngelWorld Family Office Advisory, one area of the firms work is contemporary art sales.

He has published articles on Christie’s sales as well as features and commentary on modern and contemporary Indian art.

Prior to working with the Modi’s he consulted to Arts & Business where he partnered firms with the arts, whilst developing a high-net worth patron group, Culture House.

Corporate Team

Tasneem Al-Shurougi

Artist & Gallery Liaison

Tasneem Al-Shurougi is a graduate of the American University of Paris majoring in Art History and Visual Culture.

She enjoys seeking new talents and nurturing their passions whilst providing them with a platform through which they can grow. Her favorite movement was the Renaissance era as its pieces told stories of its times.

Her vision would be for Bahrain to become a major power-player in the Art World.

Picasso has been a major reference in her wardrobe as she is always spotted in the office wearing a Breton top. Tasneem Al-Shurougi works as the Artist & Gallery Liaison for Art Select which is a brand of Art & Spice.

Genevieve Fernandes

Corporate Communications

Genevieve is a graduate in Tourism Studies with over 4 years of experience in the field of event management. She has experience in managing events from Fundraisers, to sports tournaments and cultural events, as well as assisting in the field of PR.

Avelina Estibeiro

Event Coordinator-Corporate relations

Avelina is a graduate in Business Administration and a skilled marketer and business developer by expertise. Her core strength lies in event and client management. With over 3 years of experience in developing high level marketing  strategies for clients across various industries including IT and PR firms, her true strength however lies in organizing and coordinating prodigious events with big PR manifesto