At the centre of the wide hall is a familiar face — pouting, elegant, the face of sophistication that has captured the world’s fascination. Marilyn Monroe is bigger than life persona and in this particular exhibit, she is right where she belongs — at the centre where her multi-coloured presence pulls you in.
Before you reach her imposing canvas, however, you would have to pass through dozens of other works — 35 in fact from 35 different artists — curated within the confines of their uniqueness and overall, their rarity.
Because that’s what this exhibit curated by Art and Soul Gallery is all about, “Rare: Beyond Inspirations’’.
We were fortunate to get an invite into the opening night. It went as smoothly as it should kicking off with the ribbon-cutting that signified the beginning of the exhibit. The Guest of Honour was one of Oman’s supporters of the art, Abdulrauf Wood, who continued to encourage the artists to do what they do best. Launched in a time of corona with everyone in attendance in masks, the event was a fine example of how events like art openings can still be possible.
As promised by the organisers, it is a “unique art exhibition by renowned artists presenting a kaleidoscope of mixed media creations, inspired by their experiences.
The artists in attendance and part of the exhibition are also some of the big names in the art sector — an amazing combination of expats and Omanis coming under one gallery to showcase what they have to offer.
Walking through the gallery quenches the thirst for an art experience that has been dimmed by so many restrictions. Each of the pieces as remarkable as the stories that brought them to life.
Other than Marilyn Monroe, there are Omani women in their traditional clothing presented in such a manner you would have not thought possible. Another is a silhouette, layers upon layers of enigma all tied together by strings on nails the same materials that have been used, only more colourful and flamboyant for the demanding peacock at Monroe’s side. There’s also a lion-shaped from millions of pieces of sand and watercolour work speaking of the numerous wonders of Oman’s daily scenes.
Not to miss is the collage of late His Majesty Sultan Qaboos made by pieces of gadgets and keyboards that would have been discarded had it not found its way to the canvas.
There are many other creations that were smart and innovative — from the smart use of weave palm fronds to the magnificent play of light for black and white photography and to the explosion of colours to some of the best art pieces not often seen on display.
Overall, the Rare Exhibit is an art collector’s dream place — one that will introduce you to 35 different artists in one setting.
If you pass by the first level of Waterfront in Qurum between August 1 to 14, towards the creative space put up by Art and Soul Gallery, you would discover a Wonderland especially curated for the artists and lovers of the art of Oman.
For additional details or information, follow Art and Soul Gallery on Instagram: @artnsoul_om