By Mudassir Raja
Art is all about giving meaning to feelings and concepts through different mediums of art, be it painting, sculpture, fiction, or poetry. Different artists have always tried to highlight new philosophies, ideas and concepts through different art mediums.
Faisal al-Hajri is a talented Qatari artist. He recently completed his creative project titled ‘Unlimited Limits’ under the Fire Station Artists in Residence programme.
He has introduced novel concepts through his project and has made his artistic “declaration.”
The Fire Station Artist in Residence sits at the heart of Doha’s flourishing art community. It provides the perfect springboard for creativity, helping people take their passion to the next level.
The Fire Station offers nine-month programmes for artists who are resident in Qatar. During this time, they move into one of the studios, collaborate with fellow creative individuals and develop their own technique. They meet curators, and get access to all exhibitions and are encouraged to join lectures.
On the completion of his project, Community got in touch with Faisal and discussed his concepts and mediums he used for the residency project.
Faisal, a conceptual artist, has a unique idea that was readily approved and appreciated by the Fire Station authorities.
“I have been prasticing art throughout my life. One of my artist friends from Italy suggested that I attend a residency art project at Fire Station. I thought it’s nice to come out and share my ideas and arts with others. My project was clear enough. I wanted to invite the audience to a quiet place where they can investigate their lives and question who they really are. My project was accepted by the authorities here. The basic idea of my project was a question about what is limiting you in your life.”
The artist’s new concept deals with the idea about the limits and hurdles that stop people from exploring art and creative ventures in their lives.
“It is about what is limiting us from progressing in life in a healthy way with the rhythm of universe. I believe that nature and universe progress in a very rhythmic way. However, our fears make us [human beings] static. I had interactive sessions with people from all ages and backgrounds and asked them about what limits them in going creative or making progress in their lives.”
The interactive sessions with different people taught Faisal that there are certain fears that keep them away from creative ideas or making progress.
“I have learnt that people have fears, limitations, and worries. I have observed that the people are consumed with what they have now. They are very much attached with what they have. The people have the fear to lose their attachments. They are afraid of losing their family, friends or a job. They identify life with that. In my project, I have tried to show that when you are detached from your materialistic attachments, you get to connect to a higher present moment – the creative energy. It gives you a better solution for the next moment. Every creative moment will take you to another creative moment. When you identify yourself with materialistic things, you get stuck.”
The conceptual artist used different materials and techniques to portray his concept in different art forms. “I used different materials. I used painting, sculptures, and different mix media. I have made some book stands and called them ‘essential’. I have the small book stands into butterflies explaining that knowledge can really lift us to the next level. In one of my paintings, I discussed the idea that do we chose our family.
I have brought out the concept of a universal family that is based on three values – love, peace and beauty. These are the values that will connect me with other people. Beauty is just the projection of the rhythm of nature.
‘I have created nine art pieces in as many months in my studio. I created a beautiful cup with lots of spikes attached to its outside. Whenever we want to enjoy our cup of tea or coffee, there are some discomforts – fears – that spoil the moment. Every spike is like an attachment in our life. Another creative piece of mine is named One Million Stars. It talks about my vision that is to reach out to 10 million people with my art philosophy – just be detached from you belongings and be open to receive new ideas.
“My art is all about creating a dialogue with people. I want them to feel it. The real language of life is feelings. My canvass is going to be the people. My art is not about the people. It is with the people.”
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