The beauty of Oman captured on canvas

As celebrations for the Sultanate’s National Day continue, art enthusiasts have something to look forward to – the Oman Vista exhibition. Curated by the Arabian Arts Academy and hosted at the Water-front Mall at al Shatti beach, the exhibition features the work of 74 exceptionally talented artists. On display are oil, acrylic, watercolours, and mixed media paintings that brilliantly capture Oman’s stunning landscapes on canvas. There are also interesting portraits of people from different parts of the Sultanate.
Inaugurated by Sheikha Altaf bint Omar al Marhoon, Assistant Secretary General of the State Council’s Information and Research Centre, the Oman Vista exhibition has been organized to commemorate the Sultanate’s 49th National Day, and is yet another effort by the Arabian Art Academy to share art with a wider audience. Speaking at the inauguration, Lamyaa Al Jabri from the Arabian Arts Academy said, “We hope to be able to spark an interest in art among people and work with both seasoned and new artists to make this possible. The support that we have received thus far has been overwhelming and I am grateful to all the artists who have come forward to display their work.”
The participating artists have perfectly reproduced the myriad colours of the Omani landscape – from the rugged ochre mountains, emerald green date palms and azure blue waters to the brilliant colours of the setting sun. Artists have added unusual elements to add interest to their paintings, like Hafsa Banu who uses clear resin to add a touch of realism, making the waters in her painting of the wadi look like they were actually rippling within the frame. Each of the artists has their own individual style; while some were highly textured, others were a rendition of the artist’s construal of places in Oman – like the painting of the port of Sur by Said Ali Al Alawi.
In addition to landscapes were paintings of forts in Oman, like those by artist Khalil Al Jabri, who with watercolours, recreated their grandeur using some fine brushwork. Similarly, the busy buzz of activity at the Muttrah Souq was captured perfectly by Hamad Al Sulaimi who used strong strokes in shades of grey for his painting. Moving away from the theme of landscapes was artist Sultan Alaamri, who with an intuitive use of paint and clay, created artworks depicting traditional Omani doors that are very interesting in the way they convey different dimensions.
The exhibition also has on display some exceptional portraits of local Omani people. Artist Yahya Habib Said Al Jabri’s portraits of an old man and woman are almost lifelike with their expressive, engaging faces. Other paintings that are attract attention with their brilliant colours and exquisite details are those of beautiful Omani women decked in traditional gowns and jewellery, busy with their needlework, or the painting of a young girl who beguiles visitors with her shy glance.
The acrylic painting of an Omani man by Prakashan Puthur stood out with its brilliant use of colour to create contrasts and interest. Further down, is the very endearing painting of a little Omani boy leaning right out of the frame with his offering of dates. Painted by Mariam Hamoud Al Hosani using oil on canvas, this painting with its interesting perspective makes the viewer feel that the boy, will in a moment, come to life!
Sharing the thought behind the exhibition, Kethki Ambekar from the Arabian Arts Academy said, “Our initial idea was to invite 49 artists to display their work – as a tribute to His Majesty Sultan Qaboos on the occasion of the Sultanate’s 49th National Day. The response that we received was completely unexpected, with a far greater number of artists signing in to participate.
“The Oman Vistas Exhibition is a celebration of our commitment to seek artists purely based on the merit of their work. It has been an honour indeed to showcase art, not just by eminent artists but also from talented new artists. We make every effort to provide art enthusiasts an opportunity to view art in more accessible and informal settings. The art on display is up for sale and has been priced to ensure that it is affordable for everyone. We have had a good response thus far and are looking forward to welcoming more people over the next few days.”