Culture Weekly

A journey within and beyond

May 23 - May 29, 2024
Gulf Weekly A journey within and beyond
Gulf Weekly A journey within and beyond
Gulf Weekly A journey within and beyond
Gulf Weekly A journey within and beyond

In his first solo exhibition in more than a decade, Bahraini artist Fareed Buqais takes inspiration from the culture around him as he takes visitors on a journey through his environment and experiences, write Naman Arora and Rima Alhaddad.

The 69-year-old retired art teacher and professional artist unveiled some of his latest abstract pieces at the newly-opened 56 Art Gallery in Gudaibiya.

“I have experimented with many art styles throughout my artistic journey. My current exhibition focuses on the latest one I’ve delved into, which is abstract art,” the Hamad Town resident told GulfWeekly.

“I like to allow the viewer to discover the meaning behind my artworks rather than to explain it myself, this allows different perspectives and adds to the meaning of my work, sometimes more than I have intended.”

A total of 40 untitled abstract pieces promise to take visitors on a journey within and beyond, as Fareed experiments with a range of materials and media.

While many of the pieces are high abstractions, familiar figures decked in traditional and bright clothing emerge in others.

“Through abstract figures, I wanted to represent my experience and environment as a proud Bahraini,” he explained.

“So I painted them in traditional attire that showcases Bahraini culture, alongside some that wear modern clothing.”

Curated by Hayfa Aljishi of Albareh Art Gallery, the exhibition showcases the evolution of Fareed’s styles and his exploration of different mediums in a multitude of pieces, created between 1995 and 2024.

His pieces evoke energy, movement and emotion through the use of bold colours, dynamic brushwork and textural layering.

“My artwork depends on the canvas size and details I would like to add,” he said.

“Usually, large paintings take me approximately two weeks.

“For small paintings, I could finish more than one a day. But once again, it depends on the result I’m aiming for.

“For some artworks, I like to paint continuously until I consider it finished. For others, I like to leave and come back to them with fresh eyes, which allows me to add and change details.

“My paintings take inspiration from my environment, surroundings and experiences, as this allows me to accurately deliver the artwork’s message. I don’t like to paint an environment I know little about or spent little time with.”

Born in Gudaibiya, Fareed is a founding member of the Bahrain Fine Arts Society and holds a diploma from the Higher Teachers’ Institute in Bahrain and a bachelor’s degree in fine arts from Egypt.

He has conducted several solo exhibitions in Bahrain at venues like Bahrain Arts Society and Hend Gallery.

He has also participated in group shows regionally and internationally in Egypt, the UK, Singapore, Jordan, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia.

He has received numerous awards, most notably the prestigious Dana Award at the 35th Annual Bahraini Artists Exhibition in 2008.

The exhibition, which was inaugurated in the presence of Shura Council member Redha Abdulla Faraj, runs until June 14.

It is open from Saturday to Thursday, from 10am to 2pm, and from 4pm to 8pm.

For more details, follow @56.artgallery and @buqais_art on Instagram.

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