Artist Al Mutawa brings Qatari maritime tradition alive at expo

December 24, 2013 - 5:08:32 am

Officials view some of the artworks after the inauguration of the exhibition at Katara yesterday.

DOHA: More than 45 works by Qatari artist Abdul Rahman Al Mutawa are on display at ‘The language of water and stone of Qatari islands’ expo which opened yesterday at Building 22 at Katara.

The artworks are diverse ranging from video art and installation to sculpture and lithography.

Opening the exhibition, Dr Khalid bin Ibrahim Al Sulaiti, Katara General Manager, praised Qatari innovators and their works that enrich the fine art scene.

The exhibition covers an important part of our heritage which is the Qatari maritime tradition inherited generation after generation, showing the youth the beauty of the past and present image of Qatar, he said.

“Katara is dedicated to be a forum for creators and intellectuals, as it contributes to the dissemination of cultural awareness by promoting and highlighting creative energies of Qatar, and the development of the art and culture climate by involving artists in the development process,” he said.

Al Mutawa said, “My relationship with the sea began in my childhood… I was passionate about the sea and old tales about the sea as told by my ancestors in the past centuries, whether on gaining livelihood or their work as pearl divers.”

Since he was a child, the artist had been fascinated with dhows and their sails so he studied their types looking at dhows at Doha port and Qatari museums learning about old stories in a period he wished he had witnessed.

“I started preparing for the exhibition in January 2013. I made great research efforts as I did not live in that period. I collected information and depicted them through my artworks,” he said.

He also immersed himself through maritime cruises on a weekly basis to explore the life in the sea and explored old plays and films that dealt with this vital aspect of Qatari maritime heritage.

Al Mutawa said the book Pearl Diving released by Katara was one of his important sources, including historical information on maritime heritage and sailors. These information are also embodied in the exhibition.

The expo is open for the public from 10am to 10pm.

The Peninsula

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