AlBahie Auction House is mulling to organise a "one-of-its-kind" art fair in Doha that would gather local, regional and international artists, its director Jennifer Bishop has told Gulf Times.
“Besides our main auctions, we’ve always wanted to begin what would be like an art fair where we would be able to utilise the network of local collectors and artists,” she said.
According to Bishop, such an event will serve as a platform for local and regional artists to showcase their work to the community and collectors.
A lot of these artists’ works go unseen as they don’t have any gallery representation yet, the director noted. “I would think a natural progression of AlBahie’s business would be to do an art fair but instead of inviting international galleries, we would invite artists and let them display their works,” she added.
Bishop said she has been talking to different organisations in Doha who are interested to be part of the event, which may take place either this year or early 2020.
AlBahie, which engages community of local and international collectors with monthly auctions, selling exhibitions and special events, is set to hold what Bishop described as a “curated collection of objects” in the Arts of the Islamic World selling exhibition throughout this month.
“Such an exhibition brings together unique objects, including Mamluk and Safavid Qur'an folios, a magnificent Ottoman Blunderbuss wide mouth pistol, along other objects that celebrate the distinct cultural and artistic traditions from the Middle East and the wider Islamic world,” she said, adding that a ‘Collector Series’ programme, with special guest speaker Fadel al-Mansoori, will also take place on March 23.
Bishop added that AlBahie will also offer a rich and varied selection of highly collectible rugs and carpets, including several wonderful examples of rare Tribal Qashqai and Baluch carpets in a live auction on April 10. The auction also brings these unique designs to the market again, along with exceptional examples of traditional Tabriz, Isfahan and Qum carpets. Bishop said one of AlBahie’s biggest achievements in 2018 was the modern and contemporary art auction “because it was the agenda of the company to hold auctions in that category since we opened in 2016”.
This auction included works of emerging and established artists, together with internationally renowned Arab artists from various parts of the world. Bishop cited AlBahie’s participation in an auction at the Doha Jewellery and Watches Exhibition 2018, as well as a charity auction for young Qatari designers in the same event aimed at supporting Education Above All.
“It was highly successful and I think we raised nearly QR2mn from 12 lots, six of them were from the young Qatari designers and six of them were highlighted for Chopard that were created for Education Above All,” she said.