Friday, September 29, 2023 | Rabi' al-awwal 13, 1445 H
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Exhibition, art talk to mark 50 years of Oman-Austria diplomatic relations


On the occasion of the celebration of 50 years of diplomatic relations between the Sultanate of Oman and Austria, the Austrian Embassy in Oman, in collaboration with Stal Gallery and Studio, presents a cross-cultural initiative, stimulating a dialogue between both countries, through the interactive art program at Stal Gallery.

“Growth” is a cross-cultural programme, initiated and supported by the Embassy of Austria in Oman. The programme is focused on the cultural aspect and will culminate in a public exhibition with an inauguration on February 14, 2023 at 7:00 pm and Art talk on February 15, 2023 at 6:00 pm.

The opening ceremony is attended by the guest of honour Sayyid Said bin Sultan al Busaidi, Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports and is held under the auspices of Christian Brunmayr, Ambassador of Austria to Oman.

The program is curated by the Austrian artist Marjan Habibian, and featuring artworks of Austrian artists Elisabeth Gschiel, Marlene Gollner, Walter Kratner and Marjan Habibian.

“The celebration of 50 years of diplomatic relations between the Republic Austria and the Sultanate of Oman represents an excellent framework to work together on contemporary art projects, such as the exhibition “Growth” at Stal Gallery in Muscat,” added Austrian Ambassador Christian Brunmayr.

“Growth is always accompanied by pain. Be it the growth of a plant seed, or the physical growth of a human being or an animal, or the intellectual growth of a human being, or even the growth of a culture, society, and civilization. All of this requires awareness and steps of which pain is an integral part. Prosperity, beauty and progress reach higher levels, achieving results requires effort, perseverance, tolerance and awareness,” added exhibition curator Marjan Habibian.

They are four artists living in Austria presenting their art by using the tools of different forms of art. This includes words, photos, space, materials, lines, shapes, colors or hybrid mixtures of these. From the individual works and groups of works in this exhibition you can easily recognize that the artists primarily understand “growth” as an aesthetic transformation process.

Elisabeth Gschiel, whose motifs do not draw with a pen, but sew them like threads on paper with a sewing machine, invites you to witness a craft traditionally attributed to women from the female point of view.

The sculptures, vessels or body volumes by Marlene Gollner allow a resonance and interaction between the visible and the hidden to be experienced. Wild silk fibers are the material of these body shells, obtained from the cocoons of silkworms in the metamorphosis between chrysalis and butterfly.

Walter Kratner`s work is about standardized portraits which have been retouched with graphite and oil. The viewer will realize that nationality or cultural background cannot even be guessed at a second glance.

Finally, Marjan Habibian’s there are the expressive drawings and paintings by, which are interspersed with painterly elements and also contain influences from Persian ornamentation.

In the context of the exhibition “Growth”, the artists all strive to soften traditional media boundaries and open them up for discussion.

The Artists’ Talk is the introduction to the one-week Art residency programme in Oman, with four established artists from Austria. The artists will share some work-in-progress and their thoughts on Austrian contemporary art, as well as on the exciting Exhibition in Stal Gallery.

The exhibition at Stal gallery in Madinat Al Sultan Qaboos runs from February 14 – 28, 2023.

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