Radhika Hamlai, one of Oman’s most talented artists who loves to wear many hats at a time, is currently all set for the seventh edition of Oman’s Affordable Art Show – a platform for artists and art lovers to network
Come December, and artists as well as art lovers in Oman get an opportunity to share experiences, learn from each other’s expertise, as well as explore new concepts and insights about art on a common platform – Oman’s Affordable Art Show (OAAS).
What began as an ambitious offering seven years ago is now a much sought after event that infuses colour and creativity not just into the living rooms of people in Oman but also in their hearts and minds. The event is also an opportunity for budding artists to draw inspiration from veterans, for absolute novists to take their first steps towards art and for homemakers, in general, to bring in a new dimension into their home décor – art.
The brainchild of Radhika Hamlai, an established Omani artist of Indian origin, Oman’s Affordable Art Show will be held this weekend (December 15 and 16), at Al Bahja Hall, next to Jungle restaurant. It provides two full days (10am to 8pm) filled with art and entertainment. The activities on the sidelines include film screenings, board games, and hands-on pottery demonstrations.
Radhika believes that art is not something for personal consumption. While the artist enjoys the process and outcome of every artistic task on hand, the fulfillment comes in passing it on to others for appreciation as well as varied interpretation that need not match that of the artist himself/herself, she asserts.
The price tag of an artwork, too, cannot be quantified in clear-cut terms, she agrees, as it involves not just materialistic inputs but also creativity, time, as well as the dexterity of an artist which is an intangible input that’s built up over a period of time and is the outcome of vast experience and esteem in the field of art.
“This event is an opportunity, not just for people to purchase art at affordable prices (since artworks can be, otherwise, really expensive, depending on the calibre of each artist), but also to meet some well known artists in Oman and exchange views or gain insights from them about their work,” says Radhika adding that the participants this year include some popular Omani and international artists as well as esteemed art establishments.
The participants include Ahlam al Bimani, al Ghalya Mohammed, Anjali Babu, Artists’ Hub, Debjani Bhardwaj, Dagmara Winternova, Dana al Saifi, Eastern Miraj, Elizabeth Davis, Farah Asqul, Harini Kumar, Ibti al Said, Iman al Maskari, Kostis Grivakis, Madny al Bakri, Maryam al Alawi, Mhearts, Mohammed Alattar, Pragya Bhatnagar, Radhika Hamlai, Rashmi Dauria, Rebeca Nigrinis, Safiya Arts, Scientific College of Design, Shahad The Artist, ShaliniGupta Kumar, Shima Amia, Soni Budhia, Zakiya al Busaidi and Zero Art Gallery.
INMA Arts – a personal space
Turning a new leaf in her artistic career, Radhika, who has excelled in many forms of art, including paintings, ceramics, and clothing, has now created a unique space – INMA Arts – at Ghubra. This villa, with varied rooms engulfed in serenity, provides people with space to conduct varied activity, from board meetings to personal tasks.
Different rooms in this villa can be used for holding corporate meetings/get-togethers or for conducting art classes and workshops. One can also rent it out for small celebrations/parties or even use it as one’s personal studio for creating art, either for a day or for extended periods as per one’s requirement, Radhika disclosed.
A few artists have already rented out sections for their personal work as it provides a calm and silent setting that’s ideal for concentration as well as for creativity to take wing.
“You can use this space as your personal studio for as long as you want or hold artistic workshops/seminars for small groups,” Radhika said, adding that the idea behind offering such a space came forth from the fact that many people in Oman cannot afford to hire out institutional space for small events at low budgets.
On the ground floor, visitors can book the space for interesting activity wherein they can try their hands at painting with ceramics (plates, tumblers/mugs, etc) which is provided along with colours as well as facilities for baking them afterwards. One can also learn pottery here, with the help of an experienced potter who provides instruction and guidance to newcomers.