Art Bahrain Across Borders, (ArtBAB) debuted in India with its first art exhibition held in New Delhi from 9th-11th Oct 2017 at Bikaner House. I had the privilege to attend the inaugural ceremony as well as learn about the works of eighteen Bahraini artists who were selected for this exhibition. I have included this experience for my ‘Travel and Art’ series (one of my ways of discovering places through their art) as it was a unique way of getting introduced to Bahrain and its creative people. Most of the artistic displays had an influence of Bahrain’s script, culture, people and landscapes in various forms and I discovered it only when I had an interaction with the artists.
Under the patronage of Her Royal Highness Princess Sabeeka Bint Ibrahim Al Khalifa, Wife of the King of Bharain and President of the Supreme Council for Women, Art Bahrain Across Borders (ArtBab), is an art programme that aims to connect the artists of Bahrain on a global platform. The theme of the displayed work was ‘UNSAID’, and was curated by famous Indian artist Dr Alka Raghuvanshi. The Guest of Honor was Dr. Mahesh Sharma, Minister of Culture, Environment, Forest and Climate change. The event was also attended by eminent personalities from different fields like politics, fashion, art and corporate. The exhibition will travel to Mumbai and is scheduled for 30th Nov-2nd Dec 2017.
Rise by Seema Baqi
I thoroughly enjoyed walking through each of the paintings. The imaginations, the efficacy, the possibilities and the creativity of the displayed collection was inspiring. There was use of oil, acrylic, paper work, materials, texture, digital format and more. It was a beautiful journey in the world of mixed media. A few paintings were self explanatory but most of them called for more than one interpretation. It was the creator who explained it best. Art always had the sense of mystery which allows every viewer to understand the painting in his or her own way.
Dr. Alka Raghuvanshi, curator of the exhibition, said, “This is a commendable initiative by ArtBAB and being the curator for the show is a huge privilege for me. The exhibition ‘The Unsaid’ explores the artistic and creative dimensions of the artists’ mind which is their creative mainstay. For artists, landscapes are not mere visual manifestations of a geographical mass but spaces for the creative impulse to blossom more by way of mindscapes that change, remain, expand in the mind. In this context what is left unsaid too is of a great deal of import for it engulfs within its space, the sub text of their creative context. This exhibition, The Unsaid, too says more by way of not saying it and yet saying it so beautifully and lyrically.”
Horses make a frequent appearance in the work of of Artist Omar Al Rashed. The horse is a cultural symbol of the Arabian Peninsula and the Bedouin way of life.
Behind Each Door There Is A Story by Artist Katrina Al Zu’bi
The doors made for the most attractive and one of my favorite paintings. The artist Katrina Al Zu’bi loves travelling to explore cultures. In her quest for answers, she has stumbled on similarities between Bahrain and India, concluding that both countries opened their doors to each other some 5000 years ago, tracing their origins to the period of the Dilmun civilization in Bahrain to the era of Indus Valley Civilization in India. Bahraini traders traded in Bahraini pearls while Indian merchants traded in Indian spices.
Who doesn’t love to wander? My second favorite was the below painting called wanderings by Hamed Al Bosta. The flight window sent an instant urge to travel and see the dreamy world. Of course, being a travel blogger, I was attracted towards it automatically.
This artistic interaction between the two countries was a great way of learning about each other. Most of the artists had come to India for the first time and they were loving their stay in Delhi. It is always a great feeling to explore a new place. I would definitely love to visit Bahrain some day.
ArtBAB is a significant arts venture designed to showcase the Kingdom of Bahrain’s rich creative talent to an International audience and further promote cross-cultural dialogue, broaden artists’ horizons, and introduce art collectors and enthusiasts across the world to the “talents and vision” of Bahraini artists.
The first two editions of ArtBAB International art fair drew huge participation from leading artists from across the world – U.K., Russia, Africa, Bahrain, GCC, Lithuania, France, Ukraine, Canada, Denmark, Ethiopia, India, Italy, the USA among other countries. The third edition is slated to be organised from 14th to 18th March 2018 in Bahrain.
The Guest of Honour was Dr. Mahesh Sharma, Minister of Culture, Environment, Forest and Climate change!
Thank you for following my travel and art series!!!