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When interior designer Mohamed Taha isn’t busy lending a helping hand to Baloo’s Buddies and RIA Institute on their artistic fundraising campaigns, he puts his emotions and inspirations in canvas form for all to see, writes Mai Al Khatib-Camille.
The contemporary artist, who fancies impressionism, currently has 22 of his expressive paintings hanging on the walls in Harbour Gate, on the ground floor of the Bahrain Financial Harbour, as part of the 42nd edition of the Art at the Harbour series.
The exhibition, entitled Lines and Dots, features an acrylic collection of imagery of crowds in various streets around the world including Paris and Manama, animals such as horses, camels and bulls as well as individuals such as a Spanish dancer and a musician. There are 10 paintings in colour and 12 in black and white.
“So many topics inspired me for this exhibition,” said Mohamed, from Manama. “Hunger, crowds, busy cities and being merciful to animals’ specifically innocent bulls are my main messages in this collection. My favourite paintings are the Soprano and the bull.”
According to Mohamed, the Spanish dancer and the bull act as a beauty and the beast interpretation. The dancer is dressed in a red dress as if to contrast the blood that is overflowing from the tormented bull suffering from wounds inflicted by a matador. He added: “The bull endures a lot of suffering and I wanted to draw attention to the sad reality of bull fighting.”
Mohamed, who graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from a fine art college in Cairo, Egypt, has always had a flare for the creative. He loved art since he was a boy in school. “I was inspired by my brother Mahdi and it soon became my passion and form of expression,” said Mohamed. “Art means everything to my life. It’s the air I breathe and food to my body and my brain. It’s everything and everywhere and is the most expressive message out there.”
He also received his Bachelors of Arts (honours) in interior architecture. He is fluent in several languages, aside from Arabic and English, including Urdu, French, Persian and sign language. He not only paints but also teaches art and design.
He joined the Bahrain Training Institute as a senior instructor in 2002 and was a lecturer at the Bahrain Calligraphy School at the same time too.
He taught a part time summer course at Ahlia University and held drawing and colouring workshops at Ibn Khuldoon National School part time in 2009 and 2015. He also staged workshops for murals and fine arts at Delmon poetry centre and for art at Bait Al Quran with artist Abbas Almosawi. He also held lectures for children on the basic of art at Al Kowther Society for orphans, for the Royal Charity Oragnisation and for Al Rahma Centre. He is a member of Bahrain Arts Society and is currently freelancing. He has also participated in various exhibitions, solo and in groups, such as the National Day Exhibition at Al Najma Club in 2014, ArtBAB in 2017, Art Hub Liwa Abu Dhabi in 2018, King Abdulaziz Camel Festival in 2019 and more. He has covered several subjects from fashion, jewellery, graphic design and interiors.
Charity is also near and dear to his heart, having participated in The Big Draw Bahrain and other activities related to raising funds for RIA Institute and more.
“Participating in various events helps spread many important messages related to the wellbeing of society,” explained Mohamed. “I want everyone to feel that hope still exists and to feel happy. Everyone should be able to express themselves in their own way without being afraid or judged.”
Mohamed’s paintings will be on display until March 6 and are available for viewing daily from 8am to 8pm.
To find out more about Mohamed, his work and fundraising efforts, email email@example.com or follow him @mtaha56 on Instagram.