Qatar Museums' Fire Station has provided artists an exceptional exposure overseas with its Paris and New York international residency programmes, helping them broaden their horizon and perspective, exhibitions co-ordinator Amal Zeyad Ali has said.
Speaking to Gulf Times on the sidelines of the opening of ‘Abeer Al-Tamimi: Beyond the Rules’ and ‘Abstraction: Subverting Reality’ exhibitions recently, she said these two residency programmes help put artists in cross-cultural experiences and strengthen them both as a person and as an artist.

Abstraction: Subverting Reality exhibition displays more than 25 works of 11 multidisciplinary contemporary artists.

“The beauty of Qatar is it’s a melting pot but it’s very small so once you travel abroad (for the Paris and New York residency) there’s a lot more exposure and you can't help but be influenced by that so it adds a bit more flavour to the artist's work,” said Ali, who is also the curator of ‘Abstraction: Subverting Reality’ exhibition.
The Paris and New York initiatives form part of the Fire Station’s ‘Artist in Residence programme, which provides an opportunity for participants to develop their art practice. It offers participating artists and curators not only a working studio space but also creative exchange and advancement, and cultural enrichment.

In presenting the Abstraction: Subverting Reality exhibition, the Fire Station aims to create an experience for audiences.

In 2017, Fire Station started sponsoring Qatari artists to take part in an international residency programme at the Cité internationale des arts in Paris, France – one of the most dynamic international residency programmes.
Al-Tamimi, a multidisciplinary artist who introduces unconventional materials and elements into her work seeking new forms of expression, was selected for the residency in Paris. Her solo exhibition at Fire Station’s Gallery 3 is the outcome of that exhibition, showcasing a series of paintings, experimental videos, and new media.

'Abeer Al-Tamimi: Beyond the Rules' features a series of paintings, experimental videos and new media at Gallery 3.  PICTURES: Thajudheen

In her latest show, al-Tamimi finds it fascinating “to explore how diverse cultures have different ways of interpreting behaviours and emotions – and that we can all agree to one basic ideology of co-existence.”
Other artists who took part in the Paris residency include Ebtissam al-Saffar, Nasser al-Attiyah, Abdulla al-Kuwari, Ghada al-Khater, Ahmed al-Jufairi, Ahmed Nooh, Asma al-Mannai, Meriem Mesraoua, Haifa al-Khuzaei, Rashed al-Mohannadi, and Ibrahim al-Baker.

 Paris art residency

The programme allows the resident to pursue their art practice during their stay while engaging with what the city has to offer from museums, galleries, and other art spaces. The residents will have the opportunity to network with international artists, the public and other arts professionals in an open studio event.

New York art residency

The New York Residency occurs at the International Studio and Curatorial Programme in Brooklyn, NY. ISCP is New York's most comprehensive international visual arts residency programme, supporting the creative advancement of contemporary artists and curators, and promoting cultural exchange.

Qatari artists also get the chance to participate in the New York Residency at the International Studio and Curatorial Programme, dubbed “New York’s most comprehensive international visual arts residency programme”.
Artists who participated in this residency include Fatima MohammedSara al-Obaidly, Mohammed Faraj al-Suwaidi, Alya al-Khalifa, Mohammed Al-Atiq, Yousef Bahzad, Mubarak al-Thani, and Hana al-Saadi.
Regarding plans for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, Ali said they will be showcasing one of their upcoming exhibitions with all of the AIR alumni that are based in Qatar. “That’s an exhibition that will showcase the local art scene in Qatar but also there are many opportunities across Qatar Museums such as public art and other museums to exhibit work and I think people coming to Qatar will get a sense of both international art but also local home-brewed art as well,” she added.