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Art in the environment

16 Jan 2021 By HUBERT VAZ

Saleem Sakhi, an artist who finds himself lost in artistic inspiration all aroundeveryday, recently held a solo exhibition at the Art  & Soul art gallery at the Water Front Mall, in Qurm, wherein he portrayed the multiple influences of his environment on his paintbrush.

The exhibition, held a fortnight ago, portrays various scenes of nature through the Kumma. His artworks of the kumma displayed the flora and fauna of Oman imprinted as designs on the Omani cap in many interesting hues. They were other installations that showcased wellknown cultural symbols of Oman.

The artist asserts that when all the details around him become a source of inspiration, it turns the overall shape and becomes the main theme of his works. That co-existence between him and environment, heritage and traditional costume details have always beenb a source of creativity and inspiration for him. 

Sakhi has participated in many art exhibitions in the sultanate and other countries where the scenes from Oman’s culture are formatted into art of the rich environment overlapping the sensory and emotional constitution with a new vision and unique outcome.

His artworks are collected by some government and private institutions such as Ministry of Higher Education, Ministry of Regional Municipalities , Minister of Culture, Sport and Youth National Museum, Oman Museum Across Ages, Oman Petroleum Company, Bait Al Zubair, Omantel, UNSECO and other individual buyers.

The Art & Soul gallery is a platform where artists of all denominations can express their creativity and showcase it to the community. It offers enhanced exhibition settings, appropriate lighting and state of the art equipment to display artworks attractively. This platform is a perfect venue for art talks, workshops and creative performances and artists can look forward to regular exhibitions, events and competitions, while the gallery hopes to bring other unique concepts of art to Muscat.

Sakhi, shares his thoughts on the exhibition which was well received:


What was the theme of the exhibition?

The exhibition was about the Omani environment in all its forms.

That coexistence between me and, on the other hand, the environment, heritage and traditional costumes which have always been a source of creativity and inspiration to me.

I was deeply influenced by the resettlement project of the Arabian Oryx in the sultanate to safeguard and to protect them from extinction. That project has become, for me personally, an obsessive issue prompting and inspiring me to create forms of Arabian Oryx paintings and sculptures as an attempt to remove them their barren environment to a world full of life and vitality


Why did portray the kumma through this exhibition?

This has always been a subject brought to light be me. I have been inspired by it to a great extent as we have a daily relationship with the kumma. This formed an artistic vision for my artworks on the kumma which are rich in various motifs that indicate our culture and traditions.


What features of the kumma appeals to you the most? 

The kumma is an element that characterises men’s costume in Oman.

It is an inspiration source for me because of what it carries- the various patterns and shapes. And I add a self-dimension to this repeated rhythm for the kumma with a variety in design that breaks away from the familiar ones.

What is your opinion on this evolving art scene in Oman?

The art scene and artists are constantly evolving, and it works to

stimulate the artistic offering to further progress. I myself have evolved as an artist over the years. As we go forward, cultural influences do affect our work as well as our approach to paintings. I have seen it in myself as well as other artists over the years.

Do you think different aspects of Oman’s culture deserve to be seen in exhibitions around the world?

What is around us – nature, heritage, or scenes of our daily life – are sources of inspiration for all artists, with a uniqueness that is peculiar to Oman alone. Therefore, the Omani artist must show this distinction in his/her artwork to rediscover these legacies with a modern vision.


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