Artists from across the world who have made Doha their home have been given a platform by Qatar Foundation (QF) to showcase their work.
The fourth International Artists Doha (IAD) exhibition, featuring pieces by 22 artists from 12 different countries, attracted 525 visitors at the AaQool Atrium in the QF Recreation Center from 1-3 May 2014.
Visitors were able to speak to the artists about their lives, work and inspiration, with organizers saying it contributed to realizing Qatar National Vision 2030’s education and cultural ambitions. IAD members, originally from countries including the US, the UK, India, Canada and Germany as well as Qatar, exhibited work on the theme of ‘The Essence of Life’.
Rodha Al Saadi and Ameera Al Aji, Supervisors, Community Services, QF, said the event shone a spotlight on Qatar’s thriving arts scene, with the exhibition also raising public awareness of varying artistic styles by bringing together artists from diverse backgrounds who take different approaches to their work.
“These artists have big imaginations, so for them to talk about their work and to engage the QF community is like opening a window,” said Al Aji, who is also an artist herself. “It gets people to think outside the box, and then they can take something from the exhibition into their work, their homes and their lives.
“I believe art is one of the biggest elements of educating people and hopefully inspiring them.”
Al Aji said Community Services is willing to support any creative ideas from artists and to host their projects. Al Saadi added that art institutions throughout Qatar are working together to “change the country and change our perspective on art”.
“People once thought art was just about drawing traditional things, but it is also about concepts and education,” she said.
The exhibition was opened by Hala Al Khalifa, Head of the Artists in Residence Program, Public Art Department, Qatar Museums.
Also speaking at the opening were Allyson Vanstone, Dean, Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar; Ibrahim Al Obaidli, Director, Community Affairs, Support Services, QF; and Annette Wendling-Willeke, Chair, IAD.
Verity Watkins, an artist from the UK who has lived in Doha for five years
“I wanted to look at the relationship between mother and child and the idea of unconditional love, and, as an animal portrait artist, I looked at the relationship between animals. The exhibition has been an opportunity to display my work among great artists.”
Jameela Al Shraim, a Qatari artist
“I am proud that I am a member of this international group of artists and, as a Qatari, I am very happy that a Qatari institution – Qatar Foundation – is supporting artists. My theme is horses – I draw Arabian horses because everyone loves horses. A horse means strength, a challenge.”
Dominika Bozic, an artist from Croatia who has lived in Doha for three years
“It is a privilege to be able to display my work at this exhibition. I display it in the markets in Doha, but this is the next level. My work is inspired by my childhood drawings, which my grandmother kept.”