The local art scene is moving forward along with the rest of the sectors which are experiencing rapid and exciting development.
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“It (local art scene) keeps on changing. It’s very diverse right now. We have different types of artists- people who do sculptures, installations, performances and different types of paintings,” emerging Qatari artist Fatima Mohamed told The Peninsula.
A graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University Qatar with a major in Painting and Printmaking and a minor in Art History, Fatima is one of the new generation of local artists who are creating a mark in the art world with their innovative concepts. She was speaking on the sidelines of the opening of the fourth edition of “50×50”- a unique concept Al Markhiya Gallery, Qatar’s oldest privately owned gallery, launched last year and in which she is taking part for the first time.
Focusing on the changing social anatomy of the Gulf region, Fatima created a fictional character she calls ‘Anaj’ who is the subject of her diverse works from paintings to installations to performance.
“For this exhibition, I have three paintings of Anaj. She is half American bald eagle and half Khaliji. She wears the batoola combined with the eagle’s beak,” she explained, adding she has been working with this concept for the past two years starting when she was still in university.
Fatima has just finished her nine-month residency at the Fire Station where her works with the same concept are on display at the Garage Gallery along with 17 other Doha-based artists with equally groundbreaking ideas including a more seasoned Qatari artist Ahmed Nooh.
Ahmed Nooh with his artworks.
Ahmed is also taking part in Al Markhiya’s exhibition which opened on Tuesday night at a warm reception from a huge number of art enthusiasts and connoisseurs.
“This is my second year with Al Markhiya Gallery and I’m thankful to once again take part in their show,” he told The Peninsula.
Since it was established ten years ago, Al Markhiya has been helping promote contemporary artists in Qatar and the Arab world conducting exhibitions every six to eight weeks in two galleries in Katara Art Centre and the Fire Station.
For this exhibition, Ahmed displays three mixed media works mainly using paper, which he is more inclined to use.
“I like paper, may it be handmade paper, newspaper or any type of paper. It’s the medium which I prefer to use in communicating my artistic vision,” he said.
For his residence at the Fire Station, Ahmed, who is known for challenging established artistic practices, assembled around 200 burnt books to come up with the work titled ‘Traces of Life’ to emphasise the crucial role books play in life and how people nowadays take them for granted.
The ‘50×50 Part 4’ exhibition features 48 50cm by 50cm artworks by 16 Doha-based artists in various mediums. The idea is to make artworks more accessible to all types of art collectors who wish to acquire artworks at affordable prices. The artworks are for sale with prices ranging from QR5,000 to QR15,000.
Other artists whose works are featured include Ahmed Al Jufairi, Ammar Al Dasouki, Ammar Al Qammash, Fahad Al Maadheed, Jameela Al Ansari, Hassan Manasrah, Maryam Al Mulla, Maryam Faraj Al Suwaidi, Mozahim Al Nasiri, Nasser Al Attiyah, Salem Mathkour, Vajo, Yasser Al Mulla and Yousef Ahmad.
The exhibition is open until September 7 at Al Markhiya Gallery at Katara Art Centre Building 5.
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