Arabesque unveils mesmerizing art, ignites artistic renaissance
Caption: Zeenat Al Mohandes
TDT | Manama
The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com
Report by Zahra Ayaz
Works by Bahraini and international artists made the Swiss Belresidences more vibrant yesterday with a special expo titled ‘Arabesque’.
The exhibition, which featured interactive art by 20 artists and over 50 captivating calligraphy and paintings, brought to light Bahrain’s rich cultural heritage.
Speaking to The Daily Tribune, artists shared their enthusiasm, saying events like this "allow us to learn from our peers, their creations, and sources of inspiration while also sharing our creativity, thoughts, and feelings through art with others."
They said the ‘Arabesque’ has injected much-needed vigour into Bahrain’s art scene, which is gradually gaining recognition.
To find out what makes the expo so special, The Daily Tribune also had chats with several participating artists about their works and inspirations.
Love for Lions
Indian accountant Muhammad Khan, among the exhibiting artists, shared that his work focuses on the emblematic representation of what was once a prominent facet of Arab culture.
He explained, "Lions have always held a special place in Arab culture, and through my painting, I aim to preserve the essence of a culture that is slowly fading away due to the declining lion population."
Khan, who has been in Bahrain for the past seven months, also delved deep into the intensive thought process that precedes the actual creation of an artwork, underscoring the deep contemplation and effort invested in each piece.
He said, "While the actual act of creating an artwork only requires an hour or two, the thought process behind it requires far more effort."
Infusing hues into calligraphy
Zeenat Al Mohandes, a Bahraini artist known for her vibrant use of colours, expressed her love for incorporating diverse hues into her paintings and her recent exploration of calligraphy.
Recounting her artistic journey, she credited her early art teacher for encouraging her from a young age and igniting her passion for painting as a career.
"My teacher pushed me when I was just in the third grade, telling me to pursue painting as a career as she thought my drawings were good."
Al Mohandes also shared her extensive travels across Arab nations that showcase art, emphasising the cultural value placed on artistic expression in the Arab world.
"I have travelled to every Arab nation that exhibits art. I think Arab culture places a high priority on art."
Inspired by the sea
Niju Joy, another artist, revealed he enjoys photographing various seaside scenes and translating them into mesmerising paintings.
"I travel and take images of the sea at various locations, and I paint it by looking at the pictures. Before COVID, I had done ten paintings, but during COVID, I did around 300."
Deserts, Camels, and Palms
Thanuja, whose passion for art draws inspiration from deserts, camels, and palm trees, emphasised the importance of self-motivation in nurturing creativity.
She emphasised that only you can push yourself to be more creative. " Following my stay in Bahrain, I developed a strong interest in the deserts, camels, and palms.
"If I’m in the right frame of mind, I’ll keep going and complete the painting in one sitting; otherwise, I take a long break."
The digital era
Digital artist Ahmed Ajlan highlighted the growing popularity of digital art, enabling the integration of diverse concepts into his creations.
While acknowledging the ease of creating digital portraits In the age of technology, Ajlan emphasised the time-consuming nature of his artwork, often taking a year or two to complete each piece.
"I include a variety of concepts in my artwork. In the digital age, it’s simple. However, since every portrait I create has a story, it takes a long time—more like a year or two—to complete."
The ‘Arabesque’ exhibition serves as a testament to Bahrain’s blossoming art scene as it brings together artists from different backgrounds and styles, sharing their stories and capturing the essence of cultural expressions through their unique artistic visions.