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Drawing attention

February 26 - March 03 , 2020

Gulf Weekly Mai Al Khatib-Camille
By Mai Al Khatib-Camille

Gulf Weekly Drawing attention

A Bahraini graphic designer and illustrator who was moved by the heartache and devastation caused by the tragic bushfires in Australia, has penned a picture and put it up for auction in a bid to raise funds in support.

Reem Al-Hajri penned an art piece featuring Australian wild life and a waterfall, drawn entirely with no erasing involved, with the aim of raising awareness about the bushfires as well as rallying support and funding for its relief charities.

“The concept came to me right after the restaurant Chef & The Whale ran a fundraising breakfast in January 2020 and donated all the proceeds to charity to help the Australian fires relief charities,” said the 33-year-old who has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in graphic design and fashion as well as a Master of Arts degree in fashion design.

“It was such a heart-warming gesture that I felt like I needed to give more than just money.”

The bushfires were said to have been fueled by a lengthy and intensifying drought with an early kickoff to fire season in the Australian states of Queensland and New South Wales that began in September 2019 and continued into early 2020.

As of January 14, the fires have burnt an estimated  18.6 mill-ion hecta-res (46m acres; 186,000sqkm; 72,000sqm) of land, destroyed more than 5,900 buildings (including 2,779 homes) and killed at least 34 people. An estimated one billion animals have also been killed and some endangered species may be driven to extinction.

“I always wanted to create art that helps a cause, makes people aware and inspires them too. I hope this artwork moves people to action and helps them learn more about the environment as well as the effects of global warming,” explained Reem. “I want to make a change in any little way possible. This is my first hand drawn artwork for a fundraiser. In the past, I’ve created pro-bono graphic design work for charities that needed the support and to help spread their message.”

The art work is on auction at the restaurant until midnight on March 6 and the bidding starts at BD20.

She added: “I would like to thank everyone who has contributed to the cause and a huge thank you to the Chef & The Whale team for supporting this initiative. We are all affected when something this devastating happens in the world and even the smallest actions can make a difference.” To make a bid, you  can message the  restaurant on Instagram  @chefandthewhale or visit the venue.

People can also make donations for the Australian bushfire relief charities at the restaurant itself.

Reem is also known for creating new things with her illustrations and designs and is always on the lookout to support further causes or collaborating with local artists.

To join the cause, follow her on Instagram  @rebelreasonrhyme.art

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