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Watercolour expert Anil Sharma loves Bahrain’s shimmering skyscrapers and scenic views and is showcasing his inspirations at the Harbour Gate as part of its art series.
The exhibition, entitled Bahrain Boulevard, features 40 acrylic and watercolour paintings depicting the modern and traditional landscapes of Bahrain.
The artist arrived in the kingdom in 2018 and since then, has been moved by its similarities and contrasts with India.
“On the one hand, each country has its unique vibrant culture and distinctive traditions that infuse the very fabric of their landscapes,” said the father-of-two who has been an artist and teacher for more than 25 years and specialises in landscapes and watercolour. “On the other, they have constantly changing landscapes that for centuries remained essentially unchanged, yet today countries are developing at such a rapid pace that they are unrecognisable to the generation before.
“As I explore the island on foot with my paints always by my side, I am motivated to capture these images on canvas as a time capsule of the ‘then’ juxtaposed with the ‘now’.”
Anil’s mastery of colour theory and his innate sense of rhythm and compositional elements have allowed him to showcase that in his artwork. “I adore Bahraini Boulevards which form the basis of this exhibition,” he said.
Anil, who studied watercolour and landscapes at Banaras Hindu University (BHU), has always been fascinated by the interplay between nature and the environment. And according to his friend Dr Sarah Clarke, ‘Anil can be found with a paint brush in hand on a seemingly uninspiring street corner or crouched at a seldom visited waterfront, capturing in watercolour the beauty he sees before him’.
He enjoys portraiture and still life, however, using colour and light to create visual impact and capturing the essence of the ever-changing land and seascapes are more his cup of tea ... which can be seen in this exhibit.
“I am drawn to study the interface between the ancient and modern Bahrain,” he added.
“For example, we see skyscrapers making bold, dramatic statements across natural seascapes that predictably change with the ebb and flow of the tide, while a traditional dhow cuts a strikingly small, yet powerful image as it gently traverses a scene.”
His work features an array of light and vivid colours.
He has developed a unique method for emphasising the fluidity of transparent colour and uses this technique to reinforce his special vision of natural rhythms.
Anil is a Colour Field painter and has mastered colour theory. His themes range from abstract figures to surreal landscapes with exaggerated colour and glowing foliage.
His fondness for art also encouraged him to publish his book, Wisdom in Watercolour, in April 2019 which his son Kishan, a fine arts student at BHU, helped him with, as well as one of his students.
Anil is thankful to Sarah as well as his artistic friends Ali Mushaima and Mohammed Taha for guiding him throughout his journey in Bahrain. He is also grateful for the support of the management and staff at Harbour Gate.
British Ambassador Roderick Drummond and his artistic wife Yasmin were guests of honour at the exhibition’s unveiling on Sunday evening and Anil was available at different slots to meet with a limited number of ‘Green Shield’ visitors.
The Art at the Harbour series is in its fifth year at Harbour Gate and Bahrain Boulevard is the 47th exhibition under the umbrella of this series.
The exhibit will run until August 8 and is located on the ground floor at Harbour Gate within Bahrain Financial Harbour. Harbour Gate is open daily and entry to the exhibition is free. All Covid-19 precautionary measures are implemented for the safety of visitors.