From June 1-13, there is a special exhibition at Anima Lounge showing the talents of 13 local artists, each with artistic individuality and flair, showcasing a mixture of photography, sculptures and paintings. This came about because of an initiative to find the best local amateur and professional artists to exhibit and promote local art in the region. A committee of artists and curators selected the participating artists. The committee members were Qatari artists Yousef Ahmad, Ali Hassan and Amal Al Aathem, Rima Nasser, the founder and editor in chief of Selections Magazine, Magda Baltoyanni-Kallitsantsis, a collector and curator from Greece and Ghada Sholy, Mohamad Mckouk and Iliana Kodzhamanova from Anima Gallery. The committee looked for talented, young artists with a contemporary and innovative eye, and came up with the 13 artists on show.
How it came about
Starting the call out in March 2015, in less than a month the gallery received over a hundred applications for artists to be part of the exhibition. After careful consideration of all portfolios, they were whittled down to the select few on show. Many of the artists not selected had excellent portfolios, which have been kept for future projects and references. The lucky 13 are Ali Abdallah, Noor Abuissa, Abed Al Kaderi, Moawya Al-Khadra, Noor Al Thani, Ahmed Anan, Tarik Farssi, Dörte Meichsner, Oubadah Nouktah, Fiorella Otero, Mostafa Rabie, Iman Soufan and Georges Yammine.
There is room for longevity for these artists as well. After the end of the exhibition, the selected artists will have the opportunity, if they wish, to have their artworks on display at Anima Gallery for an additional six months. Furthermore, their artworks could be included in proposals for future projects.
Youth in art
As well as the featured artists, there is also a special feature on a selected junior artist, aged 16-18. Zuhoor Al Fardan is this featured artist. The 16-year-old has shown promising talent within Qatar’s cultural art scene. She has a great passion for different mediums of art that she is exploring (from the classic drawing on cardboard to arabesque design on sports shoes), looking for a favourite medium of expression of her artistic sensibility. Her artwork will also be on show.
Anima Gallery is open daily 10am-10pm. 30 La Croisette, Porto Arabia, The Pearl (4402 8807).
A chat with the musical photographer
Hailing from Lebanon, photographer George Yammine explains why he got involved in the initiative and is happy to see his photographic art shown at the Anima Gallery
What is your artistic style?
I believe an artiste doesn’t have to stick to one style. My “style” today has been inspired by my past and will definitely influence my future work. Concerning the two artworks I am presenting at Anima Gallery, I would define my style as “Contemporary Realism.” What this means is that the art works are created in a natural, objective style, without many interpretations of former movements, going from a natural content and giving it an abstract form.
Is being an artist your full-time job, or is it just a full-time passion?
I am a violinist and a member of the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra. I also work internationally as a freelance photographer. I live between two arts – music and photography. I would say, on the whole, being an artist is a full time passion.
Have you seen the artwork of the other 12 artists?
Yes, by the time this is printed I will have. I am looking forward to meeting them and I am very excited about the opening.
When did you start to be passionate for art?
I moved in 1999 to Germany to study music in Weimar. Many factors inspired me – the concerts, the architecture, the paintings and the lectures at the Bauhaus University. The six years I spent there have changed my life.
Tell us about your piece named LIBERATION.
It is originally a photograph of a choreography inspired by a painting of Khalil Gibran. The artwork symbolises the human urge for liberation which, in this case, had been enhanced by the technique of double exposure. The construction site as a second layer adds a visual structure that correlates with the deeper meaning implied by the choreography.
Why did you get involved with the initiative?
The challenge to break “rules” in art by Anima Gallery is something that really appealed to me and I felt I had to try and get on board. I hope that my artwork will inspire the visitors and capture their imagination and fantasy.
Any more projects you are working on?
I published a photo-book last year called “A Spark of Hope,” which was a fun challenge and I am working on a new one right now. I am busy on it and I truly hope we will have the opportunity to talk about it some time soon!