Reflecting their own interpretation of a fast growing environment, where velocity is integrated in every day’s routine, 16 artists have captured a variety of moments, framing their point of view on mobility, speed, and motion; creating a dynamic visual dialogue between energy and static.
‘Art in Motion’ is a group exhibition by the artist-members of International Artists Doha (IAD). The IAD is a non-profit group of international artists based in Qatar.
The 20-day exhibition, curated by Dana Said, founder of Qatar Art Spots, was recently inaugurated at Katara Art Centre – Building-5, where a select gathering of guests and visitors were wowed by the creative and artistic pieces.
Considering the Covid-19 pandemic, the organisers have made sure artists and visitors observe the recommended safety protocols by allowing people into the gallery only after checking their Ehteraz status, monitoring body temperature, wearing face masks, not shaking hands and maintaining physical distancing.
IAD has 32 members, all based in Qatar, and serves as a social network for promoting the country’s art and cultural scene. The group was formed in early 2011 by two Dutch artists – Winnifred Bastian and Marjolijin Stolk.
The participating artists are: Archana Bhardwaj (India), Dana Said (Syria), Evegeriya Guncharova (Russia), Juan Miguel Ramirez (Mexico), Maria al-Bader (Qatar), Nirmala Shanmugapandian (India), Shazia Bhanji (Pakistan), Shetha al-Numan (Iraq), Hayam Medhat (Egypt), Robert Garita (Costa Rica), Rafif Tormanini (Syrian), Mahesh Kumar (India), Jameela al-Shrain (Qatar), Shihar Hamza (India), Behnaz Larsen (Denmark), and Maryam al-Mulla (Qatar).
Maria is the chairwoman of IAD and Shazia the co-chair.
Maria, born in Uruguay, is a porcelain artist. She learnt how to create works with porcelain when she was living in Brazil with her husband. “I learnt this unique art. My canvas is a piece of porcelain. I have exhibited two pieces in the show.
“The exhibition is being held in celebration of Qatar National Sport Day and it expresses how artists see the art in motion. All art pieces on display are related to the main theme of ‘art in motion’.”|
Though these are difficult times given the global pandemic, the exhibition provides an opportunity for people to first create something and then appreciate it during the show. “Covid-19 has made it extremely difficult to bring people together in large numbers. Art is not an invention but a re-invention. We as artists only transform it. During the pandemic, we have more time to have a look at ourselves. I think the health crisis offers an opportunity to artists around the world to encounter themselves and express themselves in different art forms.”
“I am organising and participating in the group exhibition. The theme is about the art of movement and energy. My artwork on display here is called ‘Against All Odds.’ It shows all the negative and positive energy and highlights how negative energy can pull you down. If the energy is positive, it can pull you up – feelings like hope and future-building,” Dana Said said.
It is very challenging to organise the exhibition during the Covid-19 times but there is an opportunity for artist during the challenge, she said.
“In a way, the challenge is good for the artists. It has pushed them to do more creative work and produce better results. I am very happy with the exhibition. It has a beautiful combination of art works that are different from each other but similar in one theme. We can see and appreciate all the beauty that comes with creativity with different media and styles.”
Mahesh Kumar works with Qatar Museums as graphic artist and also carries out creative work for illustrations. “I do lots of paintings. As an artist, I have different activities during the pandemic and I enjoy my artistic life in Doha. For ‘Art in Motion,’ I have chosen a woman performing a typical Indian classical dance. There is a lot of vibrant action in this art form. The medium I used is acrylic on canvas.
“I consider myself lucky to have the opportunity and be a part of the exhibition. Getting involved in a creative piece is always like being in quarantine. The artist is always in her or his studio, thinking about novel and creative ideas. It is a good time for an artist to create.”
Photos by Jayan Orma