Annette Wendling-Willeke

As the 22-member International Artists Doha prepare for their fourth annual exhibition, we speak to group chair Annette about Rooh Al Hayat – The Essence of Life

Annette Wendling-Willeke
Annette Wendling-Willeke Image #2

As the 22-member International Artists Doha prepare for their fourth annual exhibition, we speak to group chair Annette about Rooh Al Hayat – The Essence of Life.

What is the International Artists Doha or IAD?
A voluntary, non-profit group created in 2011 for artists residing in Qatar. Its members are professional artists of any nationality who bring a unique artistic talent to the group. The aim of the group is to foster opportunities via sharing experiences, learning from one another, combining resources, collaborating with other local art initiatives and showcasing the members’ art to the local public.

What was the inspiration for this year’s exhibition?
‘Rooh Al Hayat –the Essence of Life’ is the product of a brain storming session. When choosing an exhibition theme, we aspire to create an open space for the artists to explore. This year’s theme is an invitation for each individual to find their own expression of what ‘the soul of life’ means to them personally. You can expect very different visual reactions.

What styles of art works can we expect to see?
Visitors can expect to see a diverse spread of artistic expressions in different styles from realistic to abstract, from painting to sculpture.
What speaks to me the most is the surprisingly different reaction everybody has to a theme that is relevant to every living being and the resulting diversity on display.

Are pieces for sale in the exhibition?
Most of the art pieces will be for sale at varied prices. There will also be a display of works sized 30/30 cm, which were created by each artist for a silent auction, giving visitors the opportunity to bid for these ‘mini’ art pieces during the exhibition.

What advice would you offer to first-time buyers?
Go to exhibitions, look at art, get to know the market, but – from my personal view point – most importantly follow your heart and buy art that you can relate to!

What is your generl style and how are your pieces for this exhibition different?
I am interested in the layers of time, in movement, reflections and energy. I abstract what I see to new possibilities always in search of light, hidden depth, spatial relationships and colour.

What inspirations did you use from your own life to create your pieces?
My work is stimulated by my surroundings and life, sometimes the absence of something, a loss, a longing, a yearning, and often the reflection on change, life’s transience, and the one journey we all embark on – our life’s path from a beginning to an end to a new beginning.

Rooh al Hayat – the essence of life – transience, change, a journey into the light.

How does an interested artist join IAD?
New applicants can contact us through our email or Facebook page. We will send them an application form to be returned along with some artwork. After reviewing new portfolios, we invite artists for a personal meeting twice or thrice a year if and when spaces become available.
IAD 4th Annual Exhibition, hosted by Qatar Foundation Community Services, is on April 30 from 6pm. Then May 1 (10am-6pm), 2 (noon-6pm) and 3 (10am-4pm). AaQool atrium, 2nd floor, Qatar Foundation Recreation Centre, Education City (

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