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Stripping reality from its truth to transcend societal norms


For some, the beauty of Reem al Sheikh’s photographs might be ambiguous or not immediately recognizable at first glance. She already has some form of expectations when it comes to this as hers is not exactly a technique everyone is familiar with.

Her “Beyond the Frame” Exhibition which was inaugurated on March 15 is a collection of these unique beauties as she embraces a special imaging technique to produce images that is different from the norm.

A walk through Reems exhibit is taking a journey where borders are not clear and photos are blurred it’s like watching a 3D movie without the glasses which meant you have an idea of what you’re looking at but there is still room for interpretation of what they really are.

Reem achieved the effects of her photos by manipulating the time-period for capturing the scene with her camera and waiting for the movement of the subjects — the unpredictable or repetitive moves creating the effect that she wanted.

She inspires her imagination to record the shot, and erase clear body frames to remove the boundaries of the human body; allowing the form to be created.

Reem embarked on this art form as her way of transcending societal norms and rules, and to get out of her reality and travel to another world of her imagination.

“Life is usually dominated by structures and rules. My life is such as well that we have to follow certain societal expectations. What I’m trying to do is distance myself from reality, create enough space, shot the scene in front of my camera, strip it of its truth and create a world of fantasy. This desire to detach from reality is what inspired me for this exhibition,” Al Sheikh said.

Born in Muscat in 1974, Reem specialises in abstract painting. Her works discuss identity and societal traditions stemming from her multicultural upbringing and awareness of imposed cultural norms.

Reem moved to the United States of America at the early point of her life to pursue her undergraduate and higher studies. Her being around different cultures during her formative years prompted her to research and compare the subject of culture and acceptable standards.

Reem participated in more than 20 group exhibitions in the Sultanate of Oman and the United States of America from 2012 to 2021, including the first Oman International Exhibition of Fine Arts in 2019. The artist’s works have been selected to participate in the annual Omani Female Photographers Exhibition at the Oman Photographic Society since 2018.

Reem’s photos reached the final place among the 40,000 participating photos in the global “Voice Collection” competition, affiliated with Click-Pro, in multiple categories for the years 2019 and 2021, and she won medals in multiple categories in 2020.

Under the patronage of Jamal bin Hassan al Moosawi, Secretary-General of the National Museum, Reem’s exhibit will close on March 31, 2022.

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