By Mudassir Raja
Ukrainian artist couple have taken paper used for shooting range practice and
are inviting people from all over Qatar to share their creativity with the world on it
Andrii and Nadiia Chernovil are an artist couple from Ukraine. Andrii is a painter and his wife an interior designer. They have been living in Qatar since 2014 and have associated with Katara to exhibit their artworks.
The duo is now inviting people to create artworks of their own. They eventually hope to turn the collaborative effort into a message of peace for the rest of the world. The project named “Qtargets” is being curated by Nadiia, who is also responsible for all the related planning and activities.
Community recently caught up with the couple and interviewed them about their art project in particular and their life in Qatar in general. Most of the questions were answered by Nadiia and her husband also shared his point of view at times.
What’s the idea for your art project?
Andrii has been using target papers that are used for pistol shooing competitions to create his paintings for a long time. An idea came to our minds in April 2016 to ask people to put their ideas about world peace on these target papers. We thought to ourselves: let us see how people will receive the idea. We got permission from the relevant authorities to use the target papers as canvasses. After the permissions, we started spreading our idea to the people around us.
All Qatar-based artists or would-be artists aged 14 and above can take part in the project. The idea is to receive artworks of the aspiring artists on the target papers first. Then expert judges in Katara will shortlist the best of the works for an exhibition.
How you are spreading the word about the project?
We have been attending a lot of events in Doha since the idea came to our mind. We share our idea with people at every event and if they are interested, we explain the intricacies to them. It may be hard for them to get at first, but after we explain, they get the idea and appreciate the initiative. We tell them that they can paint or draw anything on the target paper that we provide to them, sharing their message of peace. We also tell them that if their artwork is selected, it will be put on display in a big gallery in Katara.
Why have you chosen target paper as a canvas?
It is symbolic. The paper is used as target in pistol shooting competitions. First, we wanted to show a positive side of the target paper. We know a lot of shooters. My father has been a shooting sport coach. They are very calm, peaceful and focused people. They focus on their target.
Secondly, we think the target paper can be used as a symbol of a bigger goal in life. A person using the target paper can share a message of peace in an art form. The target for shooting can thus be used as a messenger for peace. We have selected peace for the message because everyone in the world wants to be happy and peace is essential for happiness.
Why have you chosen Qatar to start your art project?
Well, the idea for the project struck us in Qatar and we live here. But more importantly, people from across the world have been working and living in Qatar. This kind of diversity is rarely found elsewhere in the world. We think people from different cultures and countries will share their messages for peace in different ways. We hope to have a large variety of messages. Different people will also use different ways to express their messages in art form. We think it is going to be fun.
Is there any deadline for taking part in the competition?
We started collecting samples on November 1. We have set up an art lounge at Katara to provide the target papers and then receive the finished artworks. We will continue receiving the artworks from aspiring participants till December 15. Then a panel of expert artists from Katara will select the best 25 to 30 artworks. The selected artworks will be displayed at a big gallery in February 2018 on the occasion of Qatar National Sports Day. The work of all other participants will also be shown, but on a big electronic screen at Katara.
What are your future plans for the project?
After the exhibition at Katara, we plan to take the selected artworks to Ukraine for an exhibition. The peace messages from Qatar will be displayed in our native country. Then we will take them to London, New York and Rome. We want to make it a chain. We want to spread the message of peace through the artworks.
How do you see life in Qatar?
I see life in Qatar as beautiful and peaceful. What I like the most is that the government and the system helps and supports you in whatever positive you want to do. People here are more open, tolerant, polite and kind. They are morally cultured. I am happy to see my young daughter growing up here.
Andrii added, “I am a painter. My works have been displayed at exhibitions in other countries as well. I however find Qatar the most peaceful and art loving country. It is very calm and silent here. You can concentrate on your creative work without any disturbance.”
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