For expats who came to Oman, many of them see the Sultanate as a piece of paradise not only because of its dazzling beauty and interesting traditions and customs but also for its unique position in the Middle East. For many of the artists, it’s a country of inspiration, allowing them to pursue their different specialised fields. A product of artists learning together, ‘Firdous’art exhibition is a collective art show participated by 15 expatriate female artists held at the City Season Hotel, Muscat last week. The artists painted and interpreted the beauty they’ve seen all over the sultanate and as a result, the paintings on display invoke emotions of peace and serenity.
“Firdous, is Paradise in English. That’s what Oman has come to be in all our hearts and lives. We all experience a slice of paradise by living in this peaceful, scenic country, with gentle and generous people,” Tarini Agarwal, organiser of the Firdous exhibition, said.
Participating artists in the expo include Pragya Bhatnagar, Deepal Gheewala, Profulla Robert, Preethy Nair, Hina Dharamsey, Elizabeth Davis, Soni Budhia, Harini Kumar, Shalini Kartik, Shalini Varma, Anjali Babu, Khursheed Raja, Rashmi Dauria, Erica Barrow and Tarini Agarwal.
To ensure variety and add spice to the exhibition, a few other artists were invited to participate and interpret Oman in the way it inspires them. The size and substrates were fixed and the color palette was also limited. It is this that brings the curated element to the forefront.
Anjali shared, ‘I am very much impressed by the natural and cultural heritage of Oman. This is where I find the inspiration for my art.’
Pragya Bhatnagar shared, “My work on display reflects my wonderful experience of living in Oman since 2005. I have displayed the beautiful landscapes of the Sultanate in abstract forms using multiple layers of paints with mixed media technique.”
Deepal shared that her first love and passion is art. She added that pursuing art gives her a wonderful feeling of satisfaction. After moving to Oman she has been lucky to pursue this hobby as a profession.
Elizabeth has rediscovered painting after a long break and she thoroughly and passionately enjoys it. The captivating mountains of Oman are her inspiration for abstraction. She hope’s she has captured the mysterious beauty of these mountains and wadis.
Erica Barrow loves dabbling with art. She started off with doodles and recently moved to painting. She has always been inspired by colour, design and art that evokes feeling.
Harini Kumar is a Fine Arts Graduate from Stella Maris College Chennai, India. Her style is semi abstract with vibrant colors and strokes.
Preethy is a versatile artist exploring different mediums while pursuing a career in designing and teaching. She is an expressive and realistic artist, recently started exploring abstract art. Always fascinated by the vivacity of nature she has tried to capture the expressiveness of nature in Oman in her paintings.”
Profulla feels that in this fast-paced world, the play of colors and shapes in nature gives her a feeling of peace and harmony. She tries to convey these emotions to people through her paintings.
Khursheed’s work is a constant search for the best way to interpret the ideas that she has about herself and the world she lives in. These paintings depict the essence of a woman. Women are like water because water is the source of life and it adapts itself to its environment and nurtures life wherever it goes.
Shalini Kartik is an up-and-coming artist with a penchant for mixed media on canvas. She draws the inspiration for her paintings from the beautiful landscape in Oman. She uses different mediums to express different ideas.
Shalini Varma is a self-taught artist with a proclivity for oil painting. She is inspired by the rich culture and beauty of this country; she was motivated to express her appreciation through her brushstrokes on the canvas.
Soni is an artist who has been always deeply interested in culture, traditions and heritage of Oman. Her inclination towards Omani culture is reflected in her creations.
Tarini Agarwal draws her inspiration from the glorious landscapes, people and culture of Oman.
Art lovers and connoisseur can visit Majlis Café, City Seasons Muscat, Al Khuwair. The Artworks will be displayed for an entire month of May 2018.
MAI AL ABRIA