Qatar Museums’ (QM) plans to transform the nation’s landscape into a vast outdoor art museum experience “is an outstanding idea how to shorten the distance between people and art,” Sheikh Faisal Bin Qassim Al Thani (FBQ) Museum director Claudio Cravero has said.
“Since by definition public art is made available and accessible to audiences of all ages and backgrounds, it works as an awareness-starter regarding the importance of art and culture in everyone’s life,” Museum director Claudio Cravero told Gulf Times.
Led by its Chairperson, HE Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, QM’s initiative will add more than 40 public artworks by renowned Qatari, regional and international artists this year to mark Qatar's hosting of FIFA World Cup 2022.
According to QM, new and commissioned installations will be set up in different locations in Qatar such as public parks, shopping areas, educational and athletic facilities, Hamad International Airport (HIA), and Qatar Rail stations, in addition to a number of stadiums that will host the football matches.
“The public art initiative supported by HE Sheikha Al Mayassa will span over 100 works of art in the public space. It has so far resulted successful with masterpieces at everyone’s doorstep.
“From Richard Serra to Damien Hirst, Qatar’s landscape has been enriched exponentially over the last few years. However, the educational foundations behind public art commissioning go behind the mere embellishment of the public space, because when art is set outside the gallery display, it acts as a bridge to shorten the distance between people and the museums,” Cravero said.
Some of the prominent works in Qatar, QM noted, include Serra’s 'East/West-West/East' in Zekreet, Hirst’s 'The Miraculous Journey' at Sidra Medicine, Louise Bourgeois’ ‘Maman’ at the Qatar National Convention Centre, Ahmed al-Bahrani’s 'Flag of Glory' at the National Museum of Qatar, Ghada al-Khater’s 'A Blessing in Disguise' at the Doha Fire Station, Urs Fischer’s 'Untitled (Lamp/Bear)' at HIA, Subodh Gupta’s 'Gandhi’s Three Monkeys' at Katara – the Cultural Village, Saloua Raouda Choucair’s ‘Bench’ at the Museum of Islamic Art Park, and Dia al-Azzawi’s 'Flying Man' by HIA, among others.
Recent installation includes American artist Mark Handforth’s ‘Turquoise City’ last year at Msheireb Downtown Doha, which forms part of the Qatar–USA 2021 Year of Culture.
QM also launched many initiatives as part of its public art programme such as 5/6, Jedariart, and student competition, among others, aimed at “enriching daily life and encouraging the community to reflect on social, historical and cultural issues”.
Cravero said that while FBQ Museum doesn’t include pieces of public art yet, they are planning outdoor activities around Al Samriya estate, “where art will become the centrepiece of public’s experience”.
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