THE Omani women hold a strong presence in the social and economic fragment of the country. They are modern yet rooted in the culture of their own.
Against the backdrop of the International Women’s Day, two expatriate women Tarini Agarwal and Sarah Milroy Thompson are exhibiting a collection of their works which celebrates the Omani women.
While Tarini is a self-taught artist, Sarah, a visual Scottish contemporary artist, has worked in a variety of mixed media specialising in animal paintings.
All the artworks exhibited were carried out during the Covid-19 lockdown period. The pandemic provided both time and space to create and to explore new possibilities.
Explains Tarini who started out as a realistic artist: “The colours in my paintings are sparked by the fabrics that the Omani women like to wear. I have tried to capture the magic of Omani women which is soft yet bold, strong yet demure, but always beautiful. They have a liquid quality to them, for me it has been like the fabrics turned liquid and got poured on to my canvas.”
This series of works emerged very organically for her. She mentions that visitors to the expo have been exposed to the colours of sunrise, sunsets, beautiful blue skies and azure seas with the dabbled light and many others.
Abstract art for Tarini has been her best way to express herself as it affords her the luxury to imagine and the freedom to be creative.
“The narrative that gets created in my art is a result of my own exploration as they are free from the dictation of realism. It also allows the viewer to interact with my art from their own stance,” she says.
As a way to experiment, Tarini uses colours to project the Omani women as she knows them to be modern, yet traditionally rooted in the family.
This collection of works celebrates the Omani women and her characteristics that she has known having experienced for many years after being resident in the Sultanate.
As she reflects on her work for this exhibition, in many ways this body of work also extends itself to women all over the globe. “I know women to hold their own at the workplace and at home. I know this of the Omani women too, they stand shoulder to shoulder with women globally.”
Tarini has gone out to convey the power of the women and their attitudes. “Colours depict the multifaceted personalities of women. The resilience of women to handle the challenges that the pandemic has thrown at all of us,” she says.
Sarah is an art tutor who has established an online portraiture business having enjoyed gaining commissions across the world. She says “I like to bring something of a little less traditional to my work, but still capture the raw beauty of this incredible country. I see the beauty in many things that may go unnoticed and love to highlight intricate details.”
Both Tarini and Sarah have followed each other’s work on social media.
A chance meeting between the two resulted in this art collaboration. Luckily for both of them there has been trust and belief that they decided to go ahead. The work of the duo may be different yet it sits well together.
“The works provide a variety of choices to the viewer,” says Tarini while Sarah’s work is very contemporary with elements of expressionist abstraction. Her work tells the stories of her experiences during her travels and discovery of Oman since 2017.
Says Sarah: “It was important for us to have our launch day on March 8 celebrating the power house that is ‘women.’ Both of us from different ages and probably live very different lives but are both passionate about art, sharing art, expressing ourselves and coming together like ‘Magic.”
Art & Soul Gallery at Waterfront Mall, Muscat, is hosting the 12-day exhibition which concludes tomorrow, Sunday.