Qatari wins Hirst challenge

January 16, 2014 - 6:47:42 am

Hana Al Saadi’s ‘Snail Print Factory’ is an installation art that explores three important stages of the natural lifecycle: Eating, mating and reproduction. 

DOHA: A Qatari student at the Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar (VCU-Q) has won the Damien Hirst Art Challenge organised by Qatar Museums Authority (QMA) to complement ‘Relics’, Hirst’s first solo expo in the Middle East.

Hana Al Saadi bested 61 entries with her installation ‘Snail Print Factory’ to win the contest whose prize includes an all-expense paid trip to London to meet Hirst and have a guided tour of Gloucester Studios.

‘Snail Print Factory’ is an installation art that explores three important stages of the natural lifecycle: Eating, Mating and reproduction. 

Within the micro-ecosystem, the snails go about their business and leave slime trails on paper that tell stories of the individual journeys, encounters and new beginnings inside the tank. 

About the work, Hirst said, “I love art like Hana’s that asks questions and makes you think and is difficult to define, and I love art that involves a living element, it makes the art feel more real. 

“It looks simple too and is universal and communicates across international boundaries, which all great art should.”

To win a chance to meet the world’s most successful contemporary artist, participants were asked to create and submit a photo of an artwork inspired by Hirst’s exploration of Life and Death. 

Since the late 1980s, Hirst has shocked and delighted the art world with works exploring the complex relationship between art, life and death. 

Among his iconic pieces are the series of creatures preserved in formaldehyde, Natural History (1991), and the diamond skull, For the Love of God (2007).

Submissions came in from categories that included painting, photography, graphic design, sculptures, illustrations or mixed media and judged by a panel made up of Hirst, Jason Beard, Creative Director of Hirst’s publishing company, Other Criteria, Caitlon Doherty, Exhibitions and Speaker Curator at VCU-Q and Hala Mohammed Al Khalifa, Head of Artists in Residence Programme at Public Art Department in Qatar Museums Authority.

Under the patronage of          H E Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, ‘Relics’ is on view until January 22, at Al Riwaq Doha exhibition space. 

Around 50,000 visitors and 5,000 students have so far viewed it.

Curated by internationally renowned writer and curator Fransesco Bonami, ‘Relics’ presents the largest collection of Hirst’s works ever assembled. 

The Peninsula

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