Exhibition of new commissions
Villa 221, Al Inshirah Street
Opening reception 4 March, 6:30pm
Exhibition continues until 2 April
We are delighted to announce the exhibition Resonance featuring newly commissioned works by Omani artists – Rawan AlMahrouqi, Safa Baluchi, Ruqaiya Mazar and Riham Noor Al Zadjali – and Finnish artist Elina Brotherus.
Resonance brings together new works in photography, video and sculpture developed in response to a series of scores.The artists worked with very short instructions based on Fluxus event scores and other written instructions for performance-oriented art from the 1950s-70s as a starting point and an external prompt. The scores included works by VALIE EXPORT, Yoko Ono and Mieko Shiomi, as well as instructions compiled in List of Art Ideas for 1st Class of CalArts, Post Studio (If They Have No Ideas of Their Own from which to Make a Piece), 1970, by the American artist and professor John Baldessari who passed away in January this year.
Our latest publication – Resonance 2 – will be launched during the opening reception. Resonance 2 features new writing by Jen Calleja, Saara Turunen and Johka Alharthi, in English, Finnish and Arabic with translations by Marilyn Booth, Maria Pakkala, Daisy Vaughan and Owen F. Witesman, alongside images by the five exhibiting artists.
On the personal within artistic practice
Talk & screening
Villa 221, Al Inshirah Street
Thursday 5 March, from 3pm
The five artists – Rawan AlMahrouqi, Safa Baluchi, Ruqaiya Mazar, Riham Noor Al Zadjali and Elina Brotherus – will discuss the works within the exhibition and look at how these pieces are an expression of resonance between their lived experience and their practice as visual artists.
The day will conclude with a screening of films by artists Mairéad McClean, Shona Illingworth and Andrea Luka Zimmerman, who we recently commissioned to produce new works.
Resonance is a series of new works commissioned by The Wapping Project, London. The project is a collaboration with Stal Gallery, Muscat and is generously supported by the British Council, DCMS and GREAT through the UK-Gulf exhibition programme. It included an eight-month programme of production, mentoring and exchange that culminated in a two-week production residency in the rural landscapes of central and coastal Oman in December 2019.
About the Artists
Rawan AlMahrouqi graduated from Sultan Qaboos University Muscat. Rawan multidisciplinary practice focuses on the female experience in the Arabian Gulf, the double standards, the thin line between tradition and religion. She draws most of her inspiration from her Khaleeji (Arabian Gulf) culture and the experiences she has had growing up and living in the region. She won the Young Emerging Artist Prize (YEAP) run by Stal Gallery, Muscat, Oman, in 2015. Her work was featured in the Arte documentary Women in Islam. In 2018, Rawan, together with her sisters, founded Makan Studios art school, the first of its kind, offering arts classes to adults and children in Muscat.
Safa Baluchi graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Spatial Design from the University of Nizwa. She works across performance, video, photography and installation. Her work, which draws on her personal experience, explores questions around the relationship between the individual and the society. Depression, entrapment and erosion are recurring themes in her work. She won the Young Emerging Artist Prize (YEAP) run by Stal Gallery, Muscat, Oman, in 2015 and participated in a number of exhibitions at the gallery. In 2018, she curated Disfiguration exhibition at Stal Gallery.
Ruqaiya Mazar graduated from the University of Nizwa in central Oman. Ruqaiya works across drawing, photography, video and digital arts. In her practice, she draws on her experience as an artist living and working within the Arab culture. He works ask questions about search for balance in human existence, struggle between light and darkness, shadows lurking in the depths of oneself, dreams and failure. Her work was shown in Oman and Saudi Arabia. She was shortlisted for the Young Emerging Artist Prize (YEAP) run by Stal Gallery, Muscat, Oman, in 2015 and participated in a number of exhibitions at the gallery.
Riham Noor Al Zadjali graduated with BA in Fine Arts from Paris American Academy. In her work, Riham poses question about the most current global events including conflicts, military interventions, displacement and migration. Her work has been shown widely in Oman. She was shortlisted for the Young Emerging Artist Prize (YEAP) run by Stal Gallery, Muscat, Oman, in 2015. She cofounded the initiative Art with Refugee, a traveling exhibition of artworks by refugees and artists from around the world in support of better living conditions for refugees mostly in Greece. The exhibition was shown in Piraeus, Greece, Children’s Museum of Wilmington, North Carolina, USA, the Human (Art)istic Festival in Brussels, Belgium, as well as in Spain and Oman.
Elina Brotherus works in photography and moving image. Her work has been alternating between autobiographical and art-historical approaches. Photographs dealing with the human figure and the landscape, the relation of the artist and the model, gave way to images on subjective experiences in her recent bodies of work Annonciation and Carpe Fucking Diem. In her current work she is revisiting Fluxus event scores and other written instructions for performance-oriented art of the 1950s-70s. Another ongoing interest is photographing in iconic houses by architects like Alvar Aalto, Hundertwasser and Michel Polak. Brotherus takes roles of various imagined characters, thus bringing a tranquil human presence to the spaces. Elina has been exhibiting widely since 1997 and her work is represented in major public collections including the Centre Pompidou, Paris, Moderna Museet, Stockholm, MAXXI, Rome, Fondacion ARCO, Madrid, Hasselblad Center, Gothenburg, Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki, Musée de l’Elysée, Lausanne, and Museum Folkwang, Essen, to name a few.