* Qatar resident Rozario's Grassroots Football Painting project illustrates the legacy of the game using 100 paintings made from coffee and water colour
With Qatar sprinting ahead with final preparations for the first-ever FIFA World Cup in the Arab world, a Qatar resident is on a mission to welcome the mega event in a creative way.
Doha-based Malaysian artist Patric Rozario, through his football series Grassroots Football Painting project, is all set to lend a befitting accolade to the World Cup.
“We make art to tell stories. My World Cup project, Grassroots Football is about telling stories of the beautiful game,” Rozario told Gulf Times. The project has 100 paintings that feature football and the artist has chosen to illustrate the legacy and beauty of the game by using coffee and water colour.
“I wanted to keep the memory of football intact in a different and creative way. My paintings are scenes of nostalgia and grassroots football. This is where it all began - in the alleyways, villages, paddy fields and the favelas,” Rozario explained.

Through the paintings, the artist wishes to have millions of people see, identify, appreciate and recognise the ordinary people and places where football is played.
Rozario started the mission in December last year and has completed 98 paintings. He is looking to complete 100 paintings before the end of June 2022.
Rozario, who sees football as a tool for peace building, says that sports, especially football, has long been idealised to heal wounds, mend fences, and rise above differences among cultures and nations.
“Football is enjoyed by all, with its reach unrivaled. It promotes universal values that transcend language and culture. At the grassroots or community level, sport can be seen to provide a useful way of creating an environment in which people can come together to work towards the same goal, show respect for others and share space and equipment,” he said.
Rozario uses coffee to paint because he perceives it as a natural dye. “I have paintings that I have created 10 years ago. They still look as fresh as they were when I painted them. I like to include ‘sustainability’ in my work. Coffee comes in different shades of brown, from very light brown to almost black. It’s a versatile medium. Coffee paintings have a sepia look to it. The World Cup is unique in many respects, with the type of opportunities and challenges related to sustainability being no exception,” he said.
Sometimes it takes 8-10 days to complete a painting while some paintings are completed in a single day. “I paint everyday, even when I am travelling. There are times when I have to revisit a painting and re-adjust certain things. I put in anywhere between six-eight hours a day,” he said.
Each painting, he said, will be framed and accompanied with its narrative in English and Arabic. Rozario believes that the Grassroots Football Painting project will have a long life, even after the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 ends. “I may continue to be involved in Grassroots Football project, highlighting different social issues. I want to associate with Football World Heritage,” he said.
The artist came to Qatar in 2005 and worked as senior creative officer for The Pearl Island project. Now he is a full-time artist. His main works are created with gems, pearls and crystals. These resin coated works go as paintings or panels for interiors.
As an artist, Rozario likes to communicate through the visual and touch medium. “It’s no secret that the art world has always had a very strong social undercurrent. For centuries, artists, dealers and collectors have revelled in being part of the cultural dialogue or participating in the perceived glamour of the art world,” he explained.
Recently, Rozario was invited by the Malaysian ambassador to Qatar, Zamshari bin Shaharan ,who was briefed about the Grassroots Football Painting project.
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