New Industrial Area, Street 7, by Markus Elblaus (2021)
Qatar-inspired exhibition opens to the public this week.
The Gallery at VCUarts Qatar will be organizing an exhibition titled ‘re:collections’ from September 15, 2022, to December 17, 2022.
The exhibition is free and open to the public from 9 am – 5 pm, Sunday to Thursday, and from 10 am – 4 pm on Saturdays.
The exhibition features artworks by six locally-based artists who drew inspiration from the local context, to develop and produce the artworks and installations on display.
‘re:collections’ is curated by Yasmeen Suleiman, Head of Materials Library, VCUarts Qatar. Suleiman is a Palestinian designer and educator based in Qatar. She earned a BFA (Hons.) in Interior Design with a Minor in Art History, and an MFA in Design, from VCUarts Qatar. Her research explores concepts of temporality and permanence within the preservation of culture, crafts, architecture, and design.
Suleiman explained the overarching theme and intent of the exhibition. She said, “This exhibition attempts to unpack the infinite readings, interpretations, and translations that occur when thinking of place, memory, and time. It brings together a diverse group of creatives who investigate context through the natural and built environment and its social and cultural layers.”
Amena Al-Yousef, a Painting + Printmaking Class of 2019 graduate will be showcasing a series of natural mineral pigments extracted from rocks and plants in the Qatari landscape. Al-Yousef is an interdisciplinary artist whose work focuses on the subject of human interaction with nature. She considers her artistic practice to be a continuous study that helps her understand nature, and the change in human perception and approach towards it, especially with the rise of technology.
Fatma and Reem Al-Sehlawi, from ATLAS Bookstore, will be displaying a set of books and stamps that explore the trajectory of research on Qatar’s native flora and fauna from the 1980s to 2022.
In 2015, they co-founded Atlas Bookstore as a lending library and bookstore specializing in books and magazines referencing the architecture and urbanism spanning the region of Western Asia and North Africa. In their curated display ‘Botanical Collectibles’, they showcase Atlas Bookstore’s additional focus on the landscape and the importance of preserving and disseminating knowledge on the native and naturalized flora of Qatar.
Markus Elblaus will be presenting a series of colorful and minimalist images taken on his explorations of the New Industrial Area in Qatar, which he describes as the working heart of the country. Elblaus is a Swedish photographer and artist who has been residing in Doha since 2007. Holding a degree in fine arts from the University of Gothenburg, School of Photography, he works as a professional photographer with a special interest in documenting architecture and, in particular, Qatar’s ever-changing urban landscape. Elbaus sees beauty in the mundane and his style of photography can be described as straightforward and minimal with a play of symmetry. He is deeply inspired by the artists Bernt and Hilda Becher and their work documenting industrial structures in Germany.
Christto & Andrew, an artistic duo based in Doha, Qatar and Copenhagen, Denmark, will be presenting abstract photographs inspired by Qatar’s culture. Their practice represents a mix of the past and future, technology, and culture. Christto & Andrew first gained international acclaim with their cover for the 2014 Foam Magazine ‘Talent Issue’ and have since exhibited in solo exhibitions, group shows, biennials, and art fairs worldwide. Most recently they have been commissioned by the New Yorker Magazine to create three images for their yearly fiction issue.
Nayla Al-Mulla, a VCUarts Qatar Fashion Design alumna, will be exhibiting a four-meter-long hand-stitched ‘Covid-quilt’ that was created during quarantine in Doha. The title of her work is, fittingly so, ‘I Had Other Plans’. Following her undergraduate studies at VCUarts Qatar, Al-Mulla specialized in Pattern-Making and Garment Production, coupled with a master’s in Design Research from Central Saint Martins and London College of fashion. Her experience includes working on the military uniform project at the Center for Research in Design, as a garment technician at Qatar’s first luxury brand Qela, and Assistant Professor at VCUarts Qatar.
Simone Muscolino, Associate Professor, and Director, Art Foundation, VCUarts Qatar will be showcasing ‘The Moving Postcards Project’. Created between 2010 to 2012, the project represents a nostalgic time-capsule of a simpler and quieter Qatar. He is a multidisciplinary designer engaged in a research practice focused on audio-visual culture and time-based media. He co-founded, and partnered with the Interaction Design Lab, a Milan-based company working on the crossover between technology and design. Muscolino’s work and installations have been exhibited at venues such as the Venice Biennale, Milano Triennale, Victoria & Albert Museum in London, NYC WantedDesign, Providence RISD Museum, Kraftwerk Berlin, Manege Central St. Petersburg, Beijing Biennale of Architecture, Fire Station Gallery and Al-Riwaq Doha Exhibition Space.
On a parallel track to the exhibition, a select few of the six artists will be taking part in ‘Artists Talks’ to be held at The Gallery at VCUarts Qatar. For further details and the schedule of the public talks, please visit https://gallery.qatar.vcu.edu