“From Qatar” might have many of them, but they are gifted few with extraordinary instinct for creativity. Each piece of art in exhibition entitled ‘From Qatar’ by Qatar Fine Arts Association (QFAA) in Katara Cultural Complex speaks majorly about the artistic skills of the creator.
QFAA has gathered art pieces from more than a hundred artists based in Qatar, from different nationalities. The artists, both upcoming and veterans, have contributed to the colourful exhibition with some of their best works. However, it is difficult to pinpoint a single best from the whole lot.
As you enter gallery 13 in Katara, a giant sized mosaic piece displaying an eagle placed on the floor catches your eye, first up. Created by Palestinian artist Nashwa Shammout, it shows the versatility of the artist’s hand.
Shammout has already held many exhibitions including her solo exhibition in Katara, containing pieces done in multiple mediums. She brings variety into her work not just with the medium but with perspectives as well.
She has worked with grains of sands and small stones to create pieces. However, mosaic art, remains the most dominant of the styles that she has adopted and contains some of her best works. Imagine creating a picture with glass pieces and marbles than just painting it!
“The goal of this event is to provide an opportunity to display a large number of works and creations of professional young artists. The exhibition aims to create an atmosphere of creativity and motivation in various artistic fields as well as the exchange of experiences and expertise between the Qatari and residential talented creators,” says Yousef Khalifa al-Sada, Chairman of Qatar Fine Arts Association.
As you turn around, a beautiful calligraphy style work done on board catches your eye, next. It is Essa al-Mulla, renowned for his artistic innovations featuring work made from recycled materials.
The Qatari artist has already proven his mettle in the realm of art with his solo exhibition held at Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF) earlier. Entitled ‘Found Objects & Creativity’, the exhibition demonstrated the artist drawing inspiration from, and including recycled materials such as iron, wood, and cloth in his work.
“I started to convert used materials into art form about ten years ago and since then have gradually evolved to this stage. I believe that this concept is worth the additional effort. I hope the idea of converting used materials into art form will eventually be taught in schools and universities,” al-Mulla had said at the opening of the exhibition about his experience of working with items that, he added, can be transformed and should be taken advantage of instead of being thrown away.
One of the ‘shining’ works on one of the walls of the gallery is a mixed media piece by Chaitra Somanath, Indian artist based in Doha.
A self-taught artist, Somanath has been into art since childhood having been born in a place rich in natural landscapes such as mountains, forests and waterfalls.
For Chaitra, art is unquestionably one of the purest elements in human happiness. It trains the mind through the eye and the eye through the mind. Her painting on display is distinct in both style and medium.
“Art is my passion. I love colours. Since my childhood, I have been fascinated by art and the beauty surrounding me. Desire and years of practice and persistence led me to learn many mediums,” says the artist, explaining her work.
“I read, experiment and learn. I enjoy experimenting with new materials and new approaches. There is always something new for me to learn,” the artist explains. She has worked in various media, including oil colour, water colour, acrylic, oil pastels, and pencils and her subjects have varied from landscapes to portraits and still life.
One painting that is impossible to overlook in the plethora of art work is another Indian expatriate’s work, oil-on-canvas, showing a sleeping child left behind in the temple grounds to beg. The actual picture was shot in Kerala by a Doha-based sports photographer Bijuraj and it is painted by Dr Sreekumar Padmanabhan.
As a Medical Officer at Qatar Petroleum (QP), Sreekumar Padmanabhan is also a self-taught artist. He says he started drawing and painting since he was three years old and hence considers himself an artist by birth and a doctor by training.
“There’s too much confusion and chaos outside. That’s why I like to draw a boy who is happy to have his puppy by his side. I want my work to translate simple emotions,” Padmanabhan told Community in an earlier interview.
Another self-taught artist from Ukraine is Andrii Chernovil. He has displayed a beautiful painting from amongst his work that has already won him laurels and critical acclaim. Born in Odessa Ukraine, Chernovil graduated from Odessa State Art College in 2000.
Since then, he has taken part in various regional and international level projects on painting and art. His work has been exhibited at galleries across the world and dozens of his pieces are in the private collections of art lovers.
He exhibited some of his work at a solo exhibition in Katara earlier this year. “The stark contrast in the selection of colours for my paintings reflects my lack of control over the powerful emotions that I experience when I am working,” Chernovil told Community in an interview earlier.
Besides Chernovil’s is a painting by Angelo Antonio, an artist from Philippines. Antonio is a multifaceted international artist who has secured himself a spot in the highly competitive world of art. He is known to be a natural hyper-realist painter, who can transform a picture into an almost breathing figure.
From realism, Angelo has expanded his range in terms of styles to cater to different requirements such as abstract and impressionism, uniting a vast array of colours and figures on his canvas.
He came to Doha in 2009, and from then on, he has been producing wonderful art work.