Culture Weekly

To mums, with love!

March 17- March 23, 2021
Gulf Weekly To mums, with love!

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

Artistic women and their children have teamed up to stage an engaging exhibition aimed at celebrating mothers.

More than 70 artists hailing from different nationalities and backgrounds will be featuring paintings ranging in theme, technique and style in the Love & Inspire Art Exhibition, staged on the second floor of Harbour Gate within Bahrain Financial Harbour.

The showcase, which is the brainchild of Art Fusions Studio Bahrain in collaboration with Fosbis Marketing Agency, will be open to the public for free starting this Sunday on Bahrain’s Mother’s Day from 10am to 10pm with Covid-19 prevention measures such as social distancing and wearing masks remaining in place.

“For many artists, their mothers or other women within the family were their first unofficial art teachers, whether they actually taught them how to draw, encouraged their creativity or lead by example,” said Russian artist and engineer Irina Kotova.

She is one of the nine founding members of Art Fusions Studio Bahrain, formed almost eight years along with Shaheera Zainal, Nawal Kamal, Narmeen Albaker, Fareeda Khalaf, Ana Sfeir, Oksana Kadatskaya and Atifa Zainal.

“This thought sparked the idea to build the exhibition around the ‘artist family’ format to highlight the special maternal bond beyond just a mother’s selfless love, reflected in shared passion for art and inspiration passed through generations,” added Irina.

“This exhibit aims to highlight the significance of the role of mothers and maternal figures in shaping our values and in developing our innate talents through their natural gift to guide, inspire and lead by example.”

More than 30 ‘artist families’ are displaying their paintings and drawings using oil, watercolour, acrylic, charcoal, soft pastels, gel pencil and markers on paper.

Irina, 48, from Saar, will be participating with her daughter, Dana Yousif Aljanahi, 22, and son, Elyas Yousif Aljanahi, 10, a student at Abdulrahman Kanoo School.

“While the artworks are all different, they are connected by the spirit of family and love for art,” said Irina whose painting Towards the Sun features abstract sail boats moving towards the horizon.

“All our paintings are acrylic on canvas. We selected works based on a common mood and cheerful colour scheme, but each one of us will present artworks in our own style and subject.

“Dana loves painting mandalas. She selected two of them for this exhibition called Sun and Sea.

“Elyas is obsessed with rainbows and you will be surprised to see his interpretation in both his works Rainbow Box 1 & 2.

“This exhibit is also meant to provide young talents with an opportunity to showcase their works alongside established and well-known artists.”

The special guest artists will include Mariam Fakhro, Nabeela Al Khayer, Ella Prakash and Seema Baqi. Other artists include the likes of mountaineer and yogi, Madhu Sarda, 43, who is participating with her daughter Sumedha, 13, a pupil at St Christopher’s School.

They are both displaying landscapes using acrylic, oil, alcohol link and emboss.

“Our paintings have a theme that resonates with the family values of how important it is being connected to the roots,” said Madhu, from Barbar.

“I hope to convey the message ‘home is where the heart is’ and it’s always where the family is. I have been living out of Nepal for 20 years but even today just the mention of the word creates a longing in me.

“It’s the first time I haven’t visited my family in a year and I miss them dearly. This is a perfect tribute to express my love for them and what better day than Bahrain Mother’s day.

“All relationships in all forms should be respected and celebrated, but mothers are the epitome of it all.”

Pakistani-Bahraini mother and son, Amna Qureshi, 42, and British School of Bahrain  student, Isa Noaman Najeeb, eight, are exhibiting their perspective of the sea using acrylics with gold leaf and texture paste.

Amna from Saar said: “What a glorious idea to engage mothers and their kids in an activity like this. Art has always been a beautiful binding factor in my family and this exhibition gave my son and I an opportunity to bond through art.

“Isa has an intense interest in marine life and the magic it brings along since he was a baby. He knew exactly what vision he wanted to translate onto the canvas as wanting to be a ‘shark-e-ologist’ has been his mantra since he was able to speak.”

The collaborative paintings, Under the Blue Sea and Under the Black Sea, showcase different textures, colours and depths.

Shaikha Hala bint Mohammed Al Khalifa, director-general of Culture and Arts at Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities, has been invited as the guest of honour for the exhibit which will end on April 3.

There will also be a stand for the Future Society for Youth and their “Smile” initiative, which raises awareness and provides support to young cancer patients and their families in Bahrain. They will showcase artworks created by children affiliated with the initiative.

The organisers are planning to have a video tour and a QR code with the link to a brochure containing the artists’ bios, artwork images and contact information uploaded  @artfusionsstudiobahrain on Instagram.

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