Gems of Arabia

The way one sees and comprehends an object, an idea or a thing differs from one person to another. Often the environment or experience an individual is exposed to can influence his or her opinion on said thing. What if some women get together and express their myriad emotions with acrylics, water colour, pencils and charcoal on canvas?
The Gems of Arabia, a result of this very though process is currently on display at the Majlis Art Cafe of the City Seasons Hotel as part of their WOW (Wednesdays on Walls). This event aims to encourage local artistes and was opened by eminent artist Sheffi Thattarath.

Nirupama Ashok, Roopa Kumar, Usha Satheesan, Bincy Lee and Sony Libin have been making time to pursue their passion. This clutch of women with a shared passion for art have now become a group of artists who also pursue their art professionally. It has become a space where they share their knowledge, thoughts, enthusiasm and art techniques with each other and learn new things.
“We often visit art exhibitions conducted by various artists from all over the world in Muscat which help in gaining knowledge about different media and styles”,
“Life has changed me in so many ways after chasing my passion in art. I have changed from a normal day-to-day working lady to an art professional”, says Bincy Lee Binu, Hygiene and Quality Manager at the City Seasons Hotel who shares the walls with four other contemporaries.
These artists from various regions of India had moved to Oman with their family over a decade ago. They enjoy assimilating with their surroundings and work their way to express their feelings on canvas as they gain inspiration from the majestic mountains, cooling wadis, mystic sand dunes and the beauty of the Sultanate’s rich and vibrant culture.
“Since childhood I dreamed of being an artist and had always been passionate about the vibrancy of nature and its incredible colours. Art also encourages me to cherish my memories, imaginations and creativity and to search constantly for new ideas,” says Roopa Kumar.
Their realistic paintings in oil, acrylics, mixed media, texturing, jute and velvet aim to pays tribute to Oman, the land of true to its culture and heritage along with warmth and friendliness of the local people.
“Art has the power to change the world. I am convinced that by bringing people together to appreciate and discuss, a work of art can make us more tolerant of differences,” says Sony Libin. That’s why they hope that in the future, art will be invited to take part in discussions of social, political, and ecological issues.
“Most of us know the feeling of being moved by a piece of art, be it a song, a poem, a story, a painting, or a play”, says Usha Satheesan. For her, pencil sketching and painting are passions that take her life to the next level. She finds inspirations from the picturesque scenes of Oman and loves to create aesthetic and naturalistic art pieces.
For Nirupama Ashok, indulging in art is not simply a solitary event. “The arts and culture represent one of the few areas in our society where people come together to share an experience even if they see the world in radically different ways,” she said. Her subjects change from abstracts to portraiture and figurative themes to landscapes.
They have found bliss and solace in their endeavours as their journey in the art scene has progressed further in the Sultanate of Oman. The events that have been conducted, like this exhibition, have been well appreciated by the art world with the help and support of their family and Gurus, especially Suji Nareekal, Anjali Pawar and Sheffi Thattarath.

Kabeer Yousuf