Tag Archives arts

Drawing on inspiration

More Than Meets the Eye is the theme of an art exhibition opening at 7.30pm 7.00pm tonight at the Albareh Art Gallery, Adliya. Around 30 limited edition linoleum prints by Bahraini artist Nasser Al Yousif are being showcased at the event, which is being held under the patronage of Culture and National Heritage Assistant Under-Secretary Shaikha Mai bint Mohammed Al Khalifa. Relying solely on touch and memory, Mr Al Yousif produces images that are at the same time folkloric and ultra contemporary, making use of tribal graphic elements, said gallery curator Luciana Farah.

Once an accomplished painter, eight years ago Mr Al Yousif lost his sight completely.

Instead of giving up his art, he took the challenge and continued working on linoleum etchings, a technique that he had experimented with in the past.

His etchings flourished, but due to health complications, he is no longer able to work.

The exhibition shows the last of his production, as well as some works produced through 1999-2002.

The gallery and Chicas Production, France, are also co-producing a film documentary about the work of Mr Al Yousif, to be released next spring.

Bahraini musicians Hassan Haddad (oud) Ahmad Al Ganim (flute) and Ali Al Elaiwat (violin) will be performing traditional and original Arabic songs throughout the opening.

The exhibition is open to the general public from September 18 to 27, Saturdays to Thursdays, from 10am to 8pm.

For more information, contact 17717707 or [email protected]

Rebecca Torr, GDN

Thought I’d put a plug here for my dad’s exhibition… well worth attending if you have a chance.

Blind artist’s works go on show

SCORES of people flocked to see Bahraini artist Nasser Al Yousif’s last art exhibition, which opened last night at the Albareh Art Gallery, Adliya.

Around 30 limited edition linoleum prints are being showcased at the gallery under the theme More Than Meets the Eye.

The accomplished painter lost his sight eight years ago, but continued working on linoleum etchings, a technique that he experimented with in the past.

However, due to health complications, he is no longer able to work.

The exhibition shows the last of his production, as well as some works produced through 1999-2002.

The opening was celebrated with traditional and contemporary Arabic music by Bahraini musicians Hassan Haddad (oud) Ahmad Al Ganim (flute) and Ali Al Elaiwat (violin).

The exhibition, under the patronage of Culture and National Heritage Assistant Under-Secretary Shaikha Mai bint Mohammed Al Khalifa, will continue until September 27.

It is open to the public Saturday to Thursday, from 10am to 8pm.

For more information, contact 17717707 or [email protected]

Last night also saw the launch of the Café Gallery’s new exhibit hall (next door to the gallery).

It was opened by Bahraini artist Jamal Abdulrahim, who is showcasing around 20 lithographs and mixed media pieces of his latest work at the Café Gallery.

The exhibition, which continues until September 27, is open Saturday to Thursday from 9am to 10pm and on Fridays from 5pm to 10pm.

For more information, contact 17713535 or [email protected]
GDN – 19 Sept 2005

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A ray of hope… called Haifa Al-Mansour

Haifaa Al-Mansour first Saudi female film directorIt’s not all doom and gloom in Saudi, rays of hope continue to emanate from the magic kingdom:

Haifaa Al-Mansour is thought to be the only woman filmmaker in Saudi Arabia. Her three short films are cult favorites here and have made her a hero among her peers in the Saudi film making community, an industry recently born of the digital revolution. In a country where a fundamentalist government does not tolerate cinema’s freedom of expression, remarkably she has not been censured.

Hollywood Reporter

Haifa is the first female Saudi film director. Graduated from Cairo University in English Literature in 1997, she proceeded to make her first movie to international acclaim. She comes from an artistic family, her father is the famous Saudi poet Abdulrahman Al-Mansour.

Please visit her site, she exhibits something that we all knew, but the Wahabis try very hard to eradicate; an educated and creative person in Saudi.

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Cultural Friday

We’re quite fortunate in Bahrain that we have a number of art galleries and exhibitions, so it’s easy to get in touch with various works of art and artists. It is even better that a number of private art galleries scour the world for interesting pieces to bring to the Bahraini connoisseur or collector, more importantly, these galleries actually play another very important role and that is the rapprochement of cultures thus literally bringing sometimes disparate peoples together either through personal contact or through the exhibited art.

I cannot remember a single week for the past few years devoid of such experiences, be they done in public or private art galleries. It is almost exactly the same in the music scene, although those need to increase in frequency and quality.

My wife and I were fortunate today to visit one of the leading private art galleries in town: Dar Al-Bareh who were hosting an exhibition of sculptures, textiles and furniture from Zimbabwe for the second year running.

I’ve always admired art in many of its forms, but sculpture is probably the most fascinating! It’s a touchable and caressable 3D form that leaves you in awe. Stone sculptures more than any other I think makes you marvel at the artist who can first of all see a shape in a rock, and then toils at it to bring that shape out into almost a living thing that gives the viewer immense pleasure.

At Dar Al-Bareh there were 170 pieces to admire, and admire you will! The sculptures there are fascinating and awe inspiring and that feeling hits you immediately you walk in the door! The forms exhibited there are a collection of the artistic labours of three generations of artists from the length and breadth Zimbabwe ably collected by Vivienne Prince who travels throughout Zimbabwe for 6 months every year looking for these sculptures in villages and towns and selects what she thinks the best and most representative to exhibit in galleries in Bahrain and Europe for the next 6 months. We have Ms. Hayfa Al-Jishi, the managing director of Dar Al-Bareh, to thank for bringing Vivienne and the Zimbabwean African art to Bahrain.

The exhibition just opened officially last Wednesday and will run until April 29th, 2004. You will do yourself a great favour by visiting, but don’t expect that you will be able to buy any of the sculptures at this late stage, they’re almost all sold! The prices are very reasonable, coupled with the beauty of what is on display, they don’t stay un-owned for long.

Fortunately Frances, Arif and I were banging on the gallery’s doors this morning waiting for it to open together with an American lady who was anxious to go in too.

We couldn’t leave of course without acquiring a few pieces! Frances bought the Sisters sculpture by Colleen Madamombe, while I bought two of Brian Watyoka creations: Wise Lady and Graceful.

Here are a few of the exhibits which jumped up and grabbed us!

Brian Watyoka's Graceful stone sculpture
Brian Watyoka’s Graceful stone sculpture
Brian Watyoka's Wise Lady stone sculpture
Brian Watyoka’s Wise Lady stone sculpture
Colleen Madamombe Sisters stone sculpture
Colleen Madamombe Sisters stone sculpture
Colleen Madamombe Friends stone sculpture
Colleen Madamombe Friends stone sculpture
Collins Masundo Wise Man stone sculpture
Collins Masundo Wise Man stone sculpture
Emmanuel Mutizwa Helping Hand stone sculpture
Emmanuel Mutizwa Helping Hand stone sculpture
Savi Chirwa Lovers stone sculpture
Savi Chirwa Lovers stone sculpture
Stanley Vono Serpant stone sculpture
Stanley Vono Serpant stone sculpture

Contacts: Dar Al-Bareh Art Gallery on +973-1-771 7707
Vivienne Prince website: zimsculpt.com

I must also tell you that Hayfa is my sister in-law, but that relationship didn’t influence this article at all. As both Frances and I love African art we couldn’t miss going to this exhibition, and this was (unfortunately for us) one of the few times we visited the gallery. Note to self: make sure that you visit every one there from now on!

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The ressurection of Art

new statue replaces Saddam'sAs if it was ever dead? It might by necessity hide for a while but never dies, even in the most hostile environments you will find art flourishing. Look at Iraq: intermittent electricity, untreated water, medical services on the blink, people without jobs, without steady income, but with all of these predicaments we have a group of artists erecting a new statue in place of that despot’s. This statue symbolizes two great civilizations: the Sumarians and Islam.

Although art is no where near the top of the list Iraqis have on their minds, it is vitally important as it maintains the people’s pride, preserve their real heritage, and gives them a glimmer of hope that no American tank or presence can.

In all conflicts the “puppet” art is the first to be replaced like breaths of much needed fresh air, maybe that will remind people in the next few difficult months and years that life will go on and become much better than what was left behind. So in a way, Art is the first stage of reconciliation for a broken country and society, the first flower of spring.

We don’t have enough artistic impressions in our countries, we tend to wait for catastrophic events to happen and then real artists shine and bring their thoughts to the fore. Those puppet art creators invariably fade away like their creations with loss of face and respect. You can immediately recognize that kind of art and artists. They – like their work – look very temporary and insignificant. Art that endures even catastrophes is invariably that creation that speaks directly to the soul.

I am one of the fortunate ones who can appreciate art, my dad being one of the founding fathers of art in this area of the world. True he didn’t follow the stampede of others in the ’70s and ’80s to buy land and build buildings, he was more concerned with building generations and preserving history. He continues to be an inspiration even now after 9 years of losing his sight completely, he overcomes his disability and continues to produce thought inspiring etchings, using only his fingers for feel, and his soul for vision.

The “Najin” (survivors) group of artists in Iraq have all my respect. They should be encouraged, nurtured and protected, for they are the real keepers of the scrolls of Iraqi dignity and history.

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The bankruptsy of Art in the Middle East

A friend of mine, an artist, has written to me decrying the state of visual and auditory art in the Arab world in general and Bahrain in particular, complaining of essentially the bancruptsy of the traditional broadcast institutions as well as so-called “image makers”, the advertising agencies and post-production houses in the area, that he finds it hard to compete in the market and maintain his self-set rules and quality standards, thus even harder to purchase systems that I sell – although he is the first to ascertain that he is infatuated with the equipment that I sell – not just because of the name and resepect they engender in the market (Avid Technology specifically), but he believes that these equipment can give him a competitive edge by giving him time lost in the trivialties of technical failures.

Here is my response:

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