There is a pin-drop silence as you enter her beautiful villa at Al Mawaleh but within minutes you notice numerous artworks screaming for attention from different sections of her parlour. Art seems to be in the DNA of this dwelling.
Farah Asqul, an Omani mixed media artist who says she was more inclined towards creative writing, however, believes that it is easier to tell a story through art. She actually went to university to study writing but subsequently changed to fine art and it has now become a large part of her life.
Farah says, her work is reminiscent of expressionism but ranges between painting and installation, and explores a cultural narrative and symbolism in Arabia. From the Mashrabiya patterns in architecture to the electric towers that are in abundance in Omani mountains, she re-creates daily recognisable elements that infuse her surroundings and her travels with the artist’s imagination.
A graduate of Fine Art, specialising in painting, from Cardiff Metropolitan University, UK, Farah admits that she loves to experiment with different sytles of art, rather than be stuck with one. And, over the years, she has exhibited her work and curated several exhibitions in the UK as well as in Oman.
She has previously worked on hosting seven successful exhibitions at Bait Muzna Gallery and curated and managed twenty five exhibitions between Gallery Sarah, Bait al Zubair Museum, and Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Art Gallery between 2013 and 2016. In 2016, Farah had managed and curated Gallery Sarah’s booth at Art Dubai fair and curated and managed the exhibition Loud Art Oman at Bait Al Zubair museum.
“I would say, I am an expressionist painter and I work from my own emotions and portray things thorugh my own artistic view. I like to take things and make them look the way I want to because, I believe, art is not an answer, it is a question that should make the viewer want to come and see and wonder why an artwork is done in the way it is,” she said, adding, “It is very important for your work to spark up a language and conversation among people.”
Considering art as everything in life, Farah says art can be found in every aspect of life these days, whether photography, graphic designing, furniture, interiors and is not restricted to just making a pretty painting for your living room. She also considers art as a therapy as it is way for one to express one’s emotions and so it becomes part of ones personality, she asserts.
About the influence of her art on her family, Farah admits that her husband has himself become well-versed in understanding art, he has been to many esteemed museums all over the world, and they can communicate with each other very well about art. “He has learnt a lot about art and I have learnt lot about football through our conversations,” she quips.