Culture Weekly

Colourful and captivating

September 22 - September 28, 2021
Gulf Weekly Colourful and captivating
Gulf Weekly Colourful and captivating
Gulf Weekly Colourful and captivating
Gulf Weekly Colourful and captivating

Gulf Weekly Naman Arora
By Naman Arora

Three Bahraini up-and-coming female artists are showcasing their talent at the Alwan art exhibition being held at one of Bahrain’s leading five-star hotel properties.

Zaina Ali Albustani, Abeer Jaffar Ayyad and Noor Sami Hamada have put together unique collections, each encompassing eight pieces, for Alwan, which translates to colours in Arabic.

The exhibition was inaugurated by Shaikh Rashid bin Khalifa Al Khalifa, honorary chairman of Bahrain Arts Society, last week and is being hosted at the InterContinental Regency hotel, Manama.

“It is amazing to see the quality of art work we are seeing from young women these days,” Shaikh Rashid told GulfWeekly.

“I am optimistic about the future of our arts scene seeing the support they are getting, especially from their families.” 

Each of the three artists have distinct styles and themes. Zaina, a 16-year-old Grade 11 student at the AMA International School, goes inward with her pieces, painting portraits depicting inner struggles with feelings and mental health.

She has developed her skills at the Jehan Saleh studio, and draws inspiration from Salvador Dali and Vincent Van Gogh. She credits the experience she has gained in the studio for giving her the confidence to participate in Alwan, her first-ever exhibition.

“These paintings, all created last year, helped me get through a difficult period in my life,” Zaina added.

“My art helps me channel feelings of isolation, depression and anxiety into a positive outlet. So far, I have explored pencil, charcoal, acrylic, mixed media and oil, of which oil has been my favourite to work with, since the long drying period gives me a chance to correct and refine the product.”

The idea for the exhibition came about when 18-year-old Abeer, who is currently studying hotel management at Vatel International Business School, presented one of her paintings to the management team at InterContinental Regency.

Abeer merges nature and humanity in her pieces, using acrylic to create astounding artworks that would feel just as home in an 18th century palace as in a contemporary art gallery.

Although she has been working with acrylic for just four years, she already has a number of top prizes in art competitions under her belt, including first places in the 2020 National Traffic Awareness competition, conducted by the Interior Ministry, and the 2020 International Art Award, under the patronage of the Youth and Sports Affairs Ministry.

“My inspiration for my artwork comes from the connection that human beings have with the world around us,” Abeer explained.

“As a human, as an artist and as a student, my artwork helps me appreciate the details in the world around us and how we are interconnected with it.”

Twenty-year-old Noor comes from an artistic family and draws inspiration from her grandfather and father’s endeavours.

Her great-grandfather, Mohamed, was a sculptor, carpenter and diver who persevered despite his blindness, passing on his talent and skill to his son Abbas, who taught Noor about working with oil and charcoal.

The Bahrain University student has already devoted a decade of her life to the arts and is also studying landscape architecture so she can combine her artistic acumen with scientific study to beautify and improve the world around her.

For the Alwan exhibition, she picked a smorgasbord of different media to showcase her journey as an artist.

“Each painting reflects a different style that I like and they were all done with inspirational feelings that reflect my psychological state,” Noor added.

“My favourite medium is acrylic and I am gradually moving towards oil painting.”

The Alwan exhibition is part of InterContinental Regency and the IHG hotel family’s ‘Giving for Good’ month, and will continue, every day from 4pm to 9pm until Saturday.

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