The increasing number of exhibitions and the opening of more galleries in Doha underline Qatar’s vibrant art scene amid the various challenges including the Covid-19 pandemic, a number of artists have said. “Art scene (in the country) is definitely growing, a lot of people are getting involved now, and it is going to change in the future,” Serbian expatriate Dimitrije Bugarski told 'Gulf Times' on the sidelines of the 'In Downtown' exhibition opening earlier this week.
The exhibition, in collaboration with Alhosh Gallery and with the support of Seashore Qatar, has brought together 17 Doha-based artists who are showcasing some of their works at Sikkat Wadi Msheireb. Other participating artists include Abeer al-Kuwari, Alexandra Oddie, Bachir Mohamed, Dana Said, Fatima al-Naimi, Hassan Manasrah, Mohamed Faraj al-Suwaidi, Nasser al-Attiyah, Nasser al-Kubaisi, Shahida Ahmed, Shua’a Ali al-Muftah, Ali Hassan, Al Johara (AJ) al-Thani, Nour Elhadi, Omar al-Shahabi, and Rashid al-Kuwari.
Bugarski said he hopes that more galleries will open in Doha to attract more people and appreciate and understand art better. The Serbian artist, popularly known as ‘Dedee’, is showcasing a number of pieces, including a digital work which he scaled to the canvass. Titled “Ice Cream Vigilante”, it depicts how people get used to the weather in Doha.
He cited increasing popularity digital art and use of social media to help inspire more people in facing various challenges, including the Covid-19 pandemic.
“With social media, you see the impact more than before so I think it is the proof of the positive response through comments and shares, and art has a positive effect on people,” Bugarski added. Qatari artist Nasser al-Attiyah echoed Bugarski’s view saying that the art scene in Doha developed so fast, particularly with the opening of many galleries like Al Hosh and the holding of several exhibitions. “Al Hosh is a very unique gallery, it brings music and puts a section for cafe, gift shop. You won’t feel bored while inside, instead, you want to hang out. You don’t just look at the paintings and then leave,” he said.
Al-Attiyah’s fascination with butterfly is reflected on his works, 15 of which are displayed at the exhibition titled “Color collection”. “I use it (butterfly) in all my paintings, first about Qatar, about the blockade. It maybe small but it has the energy to teach people, how we can change and how to be involved in a better position. It transforms from a worm to a butterfly with wings, it represents freedom, development, and happiness,” he pointed out. “This year, I did nine pieces and it is all about good energy, about happiness,” he said.
“We can read history from art, we can feel happy, we can send happy messages, we can document events in art. In my point of view, I don’t like to paint something that would give people a negative energy,” al-Attiyah added.
He lauded the exhibition – a first-of-its-kind at Msheireb Downtown Doha – saying it hosts 17 artists of different ages and visions.“I am so happy and proud to exhibit with them here at Al Hosh Gallery at Msheireb,” added al-Attiyah who is planning to organise a solo exhibition in 2021.