This summer, the Gulf region plays host to a number of fabulous exhibitions and events. We’ve rounded up a little about some of our favourites…
ISMAIL AZZAM: FOR THEM AT QATAR MUSEUMS GALLERY
Displaying an entire body of work that was created exclusively for this exhibition, Ismail Azzam, one of Iraq’s most famous artists, is sharing a selection of striking and emotive charcoal portraits, celebrating and honouring the work of 15 past masters. Ismail Azzam knew many of those featured in the exhibition, personally, and created this showcase to celebrate their significant artistic and creative contributions, believing many did not receive the critical recognition or popular appreciation they deserved whilst they were alive.
The exhibition features portraits of artists drawn from across the Middle East including Egypt, Lebanon, Yemen, Kuwait and Iraq. Amongst these is a portrait of the late Qatari artist Jassim Zaini. Throughout a five-decade long career, Jassim Zaini’s paintings captured key moments in Qatar’s recent history and documented the country’s development from humble beginnings, as well as its social and economic transformation during the fifties and the sixties after the discovery of oil.
GO: Fly direct to Doha with Qatar Airways (www.qatarairways.com) and visit www.qm.org.qa for more information. Qatar MATHAF
MATHAF PERMANENT COLLECTION MATHAF: ARAB MUSEUM OF MODERN ART
Mathaf Collection, Summary, Part 1 welcomed new works to the exhibition auditorium, earlier this year, in what will be a regular rotation of the collection. The first floor of Mathaf presents over 100 artists from the museum’s collection of more than 8,000 works, which will continue to grow with new acquisitions and commissions. The exhibition includes work from Qatar and the Arab world, Iran, Turkey and other regions historically connected to the Arab Peninsula, reflecting a multitude of artistic directions and contexts. This exhibition also contributes to developing research into the collection and its interconnections with contemporary cultures that are also present online in the Encyclopedia of Modern Art and the Arab World, developed by Mathaf.
GO: Fly direct to Doha with Qatar Airways (www.qatarairways.com) and visit www.mathaf.org.qa for more information.
CALLIGRAPHY WHISPERS ART EXHIBITION BY SALAH SHAHEEN AT Z GALLERY, FOUR POINTS BY SHERATON
Salah Shaeen has been living in the UAE since 2005, and one thing he really values is the country’s art scene. Salah applies both traditional and modern tools and techniques in his artworks which depict classical and contemporary Arabic calligraphy styles. Salah’s biggest inspiration comes from his arts teacher, as well as his father who would take him to international exhibitions, and enrol Salah in workshops, and buy him magazines about art, all of which helped encourage the seasoned artist to keep learning and working on new visual techniques.
When it comes to artistic role models, he admires the work and careers of Jackson Pollock, Georges Braque, and Pablo Picasso. His passion for bringing Arabic art to the forefront is what makes Salah’s work so genuine and special – this is exhibition, which runs until the end of September, is one you don’t want to miss!
GO: Visit www.fourpointssheikhzayedroad.com for more information. Bahrain
JOURNEYS BY GAYE BENTHAM AT INTOUCH GALLERY
From Bahrain to India, Sri Lanka and the Maldives, to Morocco, Cambodia, the UK and America, Gaye Bentham’s photography has taken her to many different corners of the globe. She strives to capture emotive images that communicate the beauty, wonder, mystery, and occasional quirkiness she finds in the world. Though there isn’t a particular theme running through this exhibition, the title Journeys signifies not only the physical journeys but also Gaye’s own journey into photography, and on a deeper level the life journeys of the subjects portrayed.
The perfect photograph for Gaye is one that resonates emotionally. It might be a beautiful landscape, the expression on a face, or something quirky that makes you look twice. Gaye’s photography style has changed since she started out. At that time, she mainly concentrated on landscapes. She was never comfortable with portraits or street photography, but now really loves it since her Creative Escapes tutors have helped her to overcome the initial trepidation at approaching people. Nowadays, Gaye loves to capture the raw emotion on someone’s face. But she still likes landscapes and wildlife. It all depends on the moment!
GO: Fly direct to Bahrain with Gulf Air (www.gulfair.com) and view more of the photographer’s work at www.gayebentham.com.
BAHRAIN SUMMER FESTIVAL VARIOUS LOCATIONS
Held under the slogan Our Year of Heritage, this year’s festival is filled with artistic activities and creative workshops. 2015 marks the seventh editon of Bahrain Summer Festival with shows ranging from local, regional and international music performances, theatrical plays, art exhibitions, and much more. This annual event would be the perfect time to explore all that Bahrain has to offer. There’s a fab lineup this year which includes stage shows like LalaLuna, Ballet Philippines, Wrecking Crew Orchestra and many more. Around the country will be a wide range of activities which focus on multicultural, familyfriendly entertainment. The festival will run until August 30.
GO: Fly direct to Bahrain with Gulf Air (www.gulfair.com) and view more of the photographer’s work at www.bahrainsummer.bh for more information.