Iranian art works a big draw at Muscat fest

MUSCAT, Jan 20 – Iran is known for its art and culture, especially the legendary carpet-weaving skills of its artisans. Visitors to Muscat Festival learned about the skills of Iranian craftsmen at Amerat Park, where their products, including intricately-woven carpets, pottery and architecture were on display.
Khatam is an ancient technique of inlaying in Iran. Here, art forms are made by decorating the surface of wooden articles with pieces of wood, bone and metal with intricate geometric patterns.
“We are at the Muscat Festival ground to showcase our art and craft. Response has been overwhelming,” Said and Salma, a couple from Tehran, said.
Their ‘live crafting’ and glass art have been drawing huge crowds.
Iran pavilion has been abuzz with people wanting to see and buy engravings, paintings and drawings.
“I have been attending the festival for quite a few years,” said Leila Omran, an artist. She is part of a group of Iranian artists who has brought along with them a collection of paintings by them.
They use different techniques to paint on different mediums.
Leila, a prominent artist back home, learned this art from her parents since she was a small child. She began with primitive paintings that impressed her teachers. They told her to continue with her hobby, which has turned into her profession.
She has participated in art and cultural festivals across the Gulf, especially Bahrain, the UAE and Qatar.
“I love Iranian art and culture, especially carvings and Khatam-kari. I bought a few of them,” said Suzanne, a foreign visitor.
The Iranian glass painting and glass engraving area was a hit with the visitors. “This is one of the most beautiful, yet disappearing art forms,” said Al Yeh, a carving artist from Shiraz.
The handmade Iranian carpets were much sought-after at the festival ground. A live carpet-weaving session has been seeing a lot of visitors.