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AN art exhibition with a twist will be launched in Bahrain this week, whereby 18 teams of writers and artists have come together to meld words and art for a perfect poetic purpose, writes Kristian Harrison.
‘Confluence – Where Words and Images Meet’ has been organised by the Bahrain Writers’ Circle (BWC) and will be held from Sunday until September 20 on the second floor of Harbour Gate, Bahrain Financial Harbour. It is open from 11am-8pm and admission is free.
Rohini Sunderam, a founding member of the BWC, is delighted that exhibition is finally ready to be unveiled after months of planning. She said: “The idea initially came about because we realised that many of our poets often illustrated their works with stock photos and drawings and posted them on Facebook or Instagram.
“So, we thought, why not see if there is enough interest among the poets to have an exhibition? A number of them were excited by the idea so we invited our prose members to join us.
“The name was decided on more or less at the first meeting in February when the concept of a merging of art and words was first discussed. I think it was our member Preeti Rana who came up with the word and the more we discussed it the better it sounded. There is no other connotation of ‘confluence’ other than ‘coming together’ or the merging of art and words.”
Shortly after the plan was in place, it was left to the poets and artists to team up, or in some cases where writers were artists in their own right, go solo.
Some members teamed up with BWC members who are also artists, like Herz AlBanki, a photographer who has partnered with more than one of the circle’s writers, whereas others collaborated with artist friends outside of the BWC.
The only criterion was that the writer in the team had to be a BWC member. In some cases, the art lead to the words, whereas in others, the words or poetry formed the basis of the inspiration.
One pair consisted of writer Claudia Hardt and artist Marion Akanji, who created three pieces based on Claudia’s poem titled My Little Pearl, Lulu. Marion said: “For Confluence, I have collaborated with my long-time friend Claudia, a long-standing member of the BWC and someone who was so kind to provide me some of her poetry to inspire me to create some wonderful pieces of art for this very special occasion – The Fusion of Words and Art.
“The concept of ‘myPOETRYbox’ shall provide the viewer and art lover access to poetry on a daily level by being integrated into daily life by being ‘ARTtoGO’, which can be easily integrated into your daily routine of having a cup of coffee or tea with family and friends as a centre piece of your table decoration as well as highlighting your bookshelves and family libraries.”
Claudia concurred: “Working with Marion is always an inspiration. For a long time I was looking into the opportunity of having my poems being transformed into art. As much as I admire poetry, I admire art. So, it was a natural confluence that we both teamed up for this unique occasion!”
Harbour Gate has become a hotbed of art and inspiration over the past couple of years, and the venue was delighted to host the exhibition once it heard about the plans on the grapevine.
Rohini added: “This is the first time that the BWC has organised such an exhibition and we are very excited that this idea has come to fruition and, depending on the response and feedback, we may do it again. We’d like to thank Harbour Gate for providing this marvellous venue and Akram Miknas for both sponsoring our brochure and inaugurating the exhibition.”