Bait Muzna Gallery, the pulse and heartbeat of the art scene in Oman has relocated to its old location where it has always stood since its birth — back to the welcoming embrace of Old Muscat.
The gallery has opened its door on July 3, 2018 keeping its history and legacy intact.
Gallery founder Sayyida Susan al Said, regarding its reopening shared, “The new vision and direction of Oman’s tourism policy is dynamic and forward-looking. We are pleased to align ourselves with this vision, as it will open up new vistas of cooperation for artists in the future.”
As early as today, the gallery has already been planning its future exhibitions and shows one of which will be an exhibition by eminent British contemporary sculptor Peter Hayes in November.
Sayyida Susan shared, “It’s not enough for artists to only go to art school. Workshops with eminent artists, such as Peter Hayes, can help local artists to evolve and grow and expand their insight and vision.”
Born in Birmingham in 1946, Hayes studied art from the age of 12 at the Moseley School of Art. In 1961, he left to study at the Birmingham College of Art. Later he travelled in Africa.
Over the course of several years, he worked as a ceramic artist with tribes and village potters who inspired him with the exquisite work they produced using very limited technology and tools. Moving on to India, Nepal, Japan, Korea and New Mexico, he found similar skills and adopted the techniques he learned. In 1982, Hayes came back to England and built a studio in a disused toll house on Cleveland Bridge, Bath.
The distinctive appearance of his ceramics comes from techniques like Raku firing to which he subjects them, and also from the fact that he submerges them in the flowing river beside his studio, or sends them to Cornwall to be washed in the sea for months at a time.
Pakistani-origin, British born artist Shahida Ahmed flew down to experience the new ambience of the Gallery. She was quite delighted to be here, although this is her second visit to The Gallery. The last time she was here was in 2014, curating an exhibition for Iraqi artist Sabah Arbilli, to mark his 15 years as an artist. The exhibition was a double of sorts because it coincided with Bait Muzna Gallery’s 15th anniversary as well.
“There is something about this place and its ambience which is completely different from anything else I’ve seen so far. I just love it; it really does something to you. It will be wonderful to come back here in October-November and hold my first exhibition here in Oman,” she mused enthusiastically.
Sayyida Susan firmly believes that an artist must continue to grow, aspire and evolve all the time. She mentioned pensively, giving her take on the gallery, “I do not want the art to merely occupy its space here in Bait Muzna Gallery to be mere typical decorative art. I want to look at art where you can use your imagination to capture the finer details, the essence and beauty of it where it exudes positive energy in the space it rests.
Sayyida Susan elaborated, “We intend to diversify the image, identity, role and function of the Gallery. Artists have a great advantage since they work in a visual medium that transcends all language barriers. The gallery space will be a collaborative space, where people and minds alike and different come together to contemplate, exchange and explore ideas that will create a positive impact on one’s self and the community as well.”
Marketing and Communications Head, Nadeesha Hemachandra —Perera is equally delighted to be on board the Gallery’s new journey. Giving a little background about the place she says: “Bait Muzna Gallery is one of the first private art galleries in Oman, established in 2000 by Sayyida Susan al Said. For contemporary art, Bait Muzna Gallery was a pillar on which modern art in Oman emerged”.
The Gallery is committed to promoting culture and art within Oman and in the international arena. As one of the earliest professional venues for the promotion and display of visual arts in Oman, Bait Muzna endeavours to recognize emerging Omani artists and collaborate them with established Omani artists providing them a platform to share and expose the public to a wide range of contemporary artwork. Furthermore, the gallery will also bring in top international artists from abroad and by conducting art workshops and exhibitions, the gallery has contributed to raising the ante for the art scene in Oman.
The Gallery also provides expertise in the following services: Artwork Sourcing, Art Management, Reproduction of Art Prints, Designing digital artwork as per the client’s requirement, In house Printing, Framing, Wood Carving and Instalment and delivery.