On the occasion of the 50th National Day, Lucia Oliva, an Italian artist who is extremely in love with Oman, will hold a special solo exhibition titled ‘Hope and Memories’ at the Art & Soul Gallery in Water Front mall at Shatti al Qurm.
The exhibition, to be inaugurated by H H Sayyida Basma al Said, founder-proprietor of Whispers of Serenity Clinic, on November 17, comprises two unique, celebrative artworks consisting of sculptural solid canvases portraying portraits of the Late HM Sultan Qaboos bin Said and the current Sultan of Oman, HM Sultan Haitham bin Tarik. It will be open for the public from November 18 till December 4.
‘Hope’ is a sculptural canvas (mixed media on canvas and marble – 210cm x 200cm). The artwork shows up as a celebrative sculptural canvas with a distinctly innovative concept. His Majesty’s portrait is the focus of a sort of contemporary style draped tapestry that emphasises the importance of the royal subject. This style plunges its roots intoclassical art and reaches its apex in the Baroque era, which boasts many pictorial and sculptural examples with high and low-reliefs.
A quote from the Holy Quran, part of verse 59, Surat An Nisaa’ completes the portrait. Moreover, a few symbols and suggestions find place in it, both for the texture of the background as well as for its colours. The artist freely took inspiration from some engraved motifs on the wall behind the throne in Qasr Al Alam Palace and other royal halls, in shades of light blue and turquoise, together with burgundy and purple,which recall the colours of the royal mussar.
Lucia explains, that for some aspects the artwork also evokes the ancient precious tradition of Arabian and Persian carpets. Thus, ‘Hope’ presents itself as a Lucia personal re-interpretation and fusion of these various traditions, creating a bridge between western art and culture withArabian ones.
The 24k gold, brass and copper leaf give light to the work and offer the viewer ever changing effects depending on the position of the light source: homage to the royal aura of the subject.
The structure of the artwork is slightly asymmetric to highlight the natural movement effect of the drapery. Stucco and other materials give solidity to the canvas and create bas-reliefs effects that recall the patterns, texture and thickness of brocades and damasks.
Where frequently ‘putti’ is used to hold the drapery (both in frescos, paintings, sculptures and high or bas-reliefs), the artist placed irregularly shaped slabs of recycled marble, transforming them into precious details: this as a small but significant symbol of her strong passion and commitment to environmental protection as a philosophy of life. Nature, to her, is a gift of God and we need to respect and protect it.
‘Hope’ was conceived as a natural cross out of Oliva’s previous artwork (‘Friends of all, enemy to none’) portraying the Late HM Sultan Qaboos, in which he is depicted as if he were handing over the country to his successor, a sort of message of hope and continuity, a link between past and future and an invitation to keep going with hope and faith.
Both the artworks express the same unique artistic concept created by the artist, to give them a special effect of lightness. The exhibition also offers the viewer the opportunity to admire other new artworks created during the current year, as well as previous ones belonging to the recent
past career of the artist in the Gulf, a testimony to different moments and images where her sensitivity encountered the Omani and Arabic culture.
Devoted to art
Lucia Oliva is a self-taught artist, who grew up loving music, dance, sculpting, painting, literature and drama. After graduating in law and teaching for a few years at Genoa University, she decided to devote herself entirely to art. She also likes to write poems.
After an early award-winning debut as a young painter, she went back to figurative arts in 2013, to further her long international career in the world of art as choreographer, dancer and event organiser.
Sculpting with colour on stone, metal, wood, canvas and other materials, Oliva creates subjects embodied in artworks, rich in harmony and movement, that highlight an idea of pure lightness. Playing with mirrors and other accessories she recently invented her unique concept which creates a sort of contemporary ‘trompe l’oeil’ effect, with original scenic set-ups that are a combination of sculpture, painting, installation and theatre.
Oliva’s unique art has been granted an immediate and ever growing success in many solo, group exhibitions and art symposiums all around the world. Her works are owned by private collectors in Europe as well as in the UAE, Oman, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, the Philippines and other countries.
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