A group exhibition by Omani and international artists will open at Bait Muzna Gallery on November 14 to celebrate the upcoming 52nd National Day. Curator Clive Gracey shares some insights about the show
An assortment of paintings, mixed-media reliefs, cutouts, installations and fine art photographs, all inspired by the beauty of Oman, will adorn the interiors of Bait Muzna this week as Oman gets set to celebrate its 52nd National Day.
“The exhibition is called ‘Oman, Our Inspiration’. The concept was decided jointly by the founder of the gallery Sayyida Susan al Said and myself, as curator,” disclosed Clive Gracey, a senior artist from Ireland residing in Oman, “A total of 68 artworks will be on display, including paintings, fine art photographs, mixed media works and an installation.”
The participating artists include five Omani and five international artists.These include Tahira Fida, Juma al Harthy, Fahad al Mamari, Anna Dudchenko, Amani al Raisi, Tonny Holsbergen, Debjani Bhardwaj, Clive Gracey, Victor Kim and Ojas Bhatia.
The centerpiece of the group exhibition is the world’s largest kummah, which earlier featured in the The Guinness Book of Records. “The ‘world’s largest kummah was the brainchold of Amani al Raisi and Ojas Bhatia. We chose it because of its uniqueness and because the kummah is one of the pet icons of Omani identity,” Gracey said.
About his task as curator, Gracey explained, “The job of the curator is not to choose the works he or she likes, but to select a range of professionally made artworks of a high standard that reflects the theme of the exhibition and which will inspire and appeal to visitors to the show.
“We are a commercial gallery so it is important that we display works that people will appreciate and hopefully acquire. It wasn’t tough, but rather a pleasure, working with fellow artists.”
The exhibition opens to the public on November 14 and runs until December 15. Gallery timings are 9.30am to 5.30pm on weekdays and 10am to 3pm on Saturdays. The gallery is also open on National Day – Friday, November 18, from 1 pm to 6 pm
World’s largest Omani kummah
The world’s largest kummah, featured in The Guinness Book of Records, portrays the love for Oman. ‘We could have made a smaller one but this is how much we love Oman, that we made the world’s largest kummah,’ according to the team that made it.
Based in Amerat, the team is still going strong even after a decade of taking up the kummah project. The giant kummah was created in 2013 and it then took the team 18 months to complete. When the team had taken it up, Dr Amani had then been just a school student.
The team comprised, mainly Dr Amani Ibrahim Abdulkarim al Raisi and Ojas Bhatia, besides five Omani ladies who hand-stitched parts of the kummah.
The traditional cap is 1m in height and 1.62m in diameter. Around 27.43m of fabric was used to create it. It comprises 200,000 stitches incorporating various symbols of Oman, including images of a khanjar, the Grand Mosque, and a camel.
(Inputs from: Shaddad al Musalmy)