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Group exhibition at Cure8 Art Gallery showcases creative imagination

22 Oct 2022 By HUBERT VAZ

A collection of 42 artworks created by a group of 10 international artists in Oman – the culmination of an art workshop conducted by Dr Nasser Palangi – displays creative imagination at Cure8 Art Gallery

Cure8 Art Gallery, in the Grand Hyatt hotel lobby, has come alive with a powerful infusion of creativity expressed in diverse forms by ten international artists in Oman who have demonstrated their skill with new methods of creative imagination and deconstruction.

The exhibition, curated by Farideh Zariv, Australian-Iranian resident artist in Oman, and facilitated by Sarah Ahmed Farid al Aulaqi, director of Cure8 Art Gallery, was inaugurated under the patronage of H H Sayyida Aliya bint Thuwaini al Said on October 19.

This is the second group exhibition based on the theme – Methods of Creative Imagination – following a creative workshop conducted by Dr Nasser Palangi, Australian-Iranian artist and art teacher, who taught and nurtured a batch of ten hand-picked artists from different countries in Oman. The first workshop was conducted in 2019 and an exhibition was held a year later since regular classes were disrupted due to the pandemic in 2020.

The artworks showcased in this exhibition were created by the participating artists during 2021 when they received instruction for exploring their own creative imagination and creating contemporary works using new techniques and media. Most of the instruction was developed by Dr Palangi over the past three decades when he has taught artists from different countries in Iran as well as the middle east.

Dr Palangi, who is currently associate professor at Scientific College of Design, says, “Teaching Art for more than 40 years around the world, gave me the opportunity to deal with a huge number of students from different cultural backgrounds, and every time I witness the birth of a new artwork. I see their talents flourishing and their artistic abilities upgrading, for me this is a glorious moment that I celebrate.”

He further states, “I believe, that the relationship between the artist and his artwork is an interactive live relation where the artist creates the artwork and the artwork creates the artist at the same time. During my life as an artist I always have aspirations, dreams, ambitions and goals to reach and I can say that I achieved many of them and am looking forward for more.”

About his workshop, Dr Palangi said, “I teach methods of creative imagination and methods of deconstruction. Participants of the workshop experiment with these methods, including a variety of techniques to express their own creativity with a contemporary vision. At the end, they are able to develop and create unique art forms.”

“To be contemporary artists, we need to learn these methods and experiment with different media and styles. At present, we see ‘cross media’ as a main technique in all important art biennales around the world,” Dr Palangi said, adding, “Hopefully, we will continue this programme every year in Muscat while also planning to organise a ‘touring exhibition’ in other countries in the gulf, as well.”

Since 2000, Dr Palangi started to teach his Methods of Creative Imagination Programme in Australia, United States, United Arab Emirates and Iran. In Oman, he started the programme with a pilot workshop at the National Museum of Oman in 2019.

The courses include rules and methods that help functioning and activating the powers of imagination and illusion by teaching art students techniques, rules, and principles, and giving them tools that help them to create, relying on their own power of imagination, so as to be able to present their creative ideas in an innovative contemporary way.

Farideh Zariv, who curated the exhibition, has an illustrious career in art spanning three decades. She has held numerous solo exhibitions in different museums such as Canberra Art Museum in Australia, Iziko Museum in South Africa and Bait Al Zubair Museum in Oman. Her works can be found in private and public collections around the world.

Farideh believes, “Art is the greatest and most effective way to influence deep human emotions because it is a tangible language. And in today’s world, the most challenging thing is to find a platform that hosts and gives opportunity to highly creative artists who can show their culture to the world in a contemporary way.”

Through her collaboration with Cure8 Art Gallery, Farideh aims to offer a creative space for local and international professional artists, as well as host educational workshops, events and art projects. “This Space will turn on the spotlight on outstanding works of contemporary Omani artists from all creative fields, like painting, printing, sculpture, ceramics and unique handicrafts,” she said.

The participants of this workshop and exhibition included Afra Talal al Said, Aneesh Basheer Shailza, Aisha Muammar Mohamed, Iman al Maskari, Masha’el Ritchie, Janab Sayyida Mithal al Said, Nusaiba Shukry al Sulaimani, Soni Budhia, Pragya Bhatnagar, Zohreh Sadegh.

Some of the participating artists with Dr Nasser Palangi (with hat) and Farideh Zariv (third from right)

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