‘Neighbours of the Sea’ and ‘Etheralscape’ will highlight the unique confluence of 
culture, heritage, and nature

Fire Station: Artist in Residence will feature two exhibitions titled ‘Neighbours of the Sea’ and ‘Etheralscape’, by current and former Fire Station residents.

These exhibitions, on display until 17 August 2024 at Gallery 3 and Gallery 4 at Fire Station, are part of the Fire Station’s Artists in Residence and Ruwad in Residence programmes (2021-2023), which aim to foster local talent through production support, curatorial guidance, and expert mentorship.

‘Neighbours of the Sea,’ a collaborative exhibition by renowned Qatari artists Wafika Sultan Al-Issa and Hassan Al-Mulla, will showcase over 30 mixed-media paintings that delve into the profound connection between the artists’ inner worlds and their environment, society, and heritage. This exhibition will highlight how their creative expressions intersect, despite differing artistic styles, by drawing from the rich cultural tapestry and unique environmental landscape of Qatar. Their art takes the local environment and cultural heritage as a shared source of inspiration, reflecting the influence of the desert and sea on Qatari life, urbanism, and traditions.

Wafika Sultan Al-Essa, a resident in Fire Stations’ Ruwad in Residence programme (2021-2023) and a Qatari visual artist since 1972, is a founding member of the Qatar Fine Arts Association and one of the pioneers of art in Qatar. Hassan Al-Mulla, another resident in Fire Stations’ Ruwad in Residence programme (2021-2023) and an influential Qatari visual artist, has left a mark on Qatar’s art landscape. With a presidency at the Qatar Society for Fine Arts and solo exhibitions spanning Qatar, India, and Saudi Arabia, his contributions are widely recognised.

Many of the pieces were developed during their residency at the Fire Station’s Ruwad in Residence programme (2021-2023) that was launched by Fire Station in 2021 to support established Qatar-based artists, continuing the legacy of the programme that supported Qatari artist Faraj Daham from 2017 to 2020. This initiative ensures that Fire Station remains deeply connected to local artists at various stages of their careers, fostering an exchange between established artists and those participating in the Artist in Residence program. Through mentorship and critique, as well as public programs like lectures and art workshops, the programme maintains ongoing communication with the wider community.

The second exhibition, ‘Etheralscape’, is an immersive art installation by two former Artists in Residence, Dr AlKhuzama AlHarami and Guillaume Rouseré, that merges the art of image and sound and delves into the interaction between nature and modern society. As visitors step into the space, they will be immersed in a sensory experience that combines captivating video projects of desert landscapes and calligraphy, with immersive soundscapes drawn from desert field recordings and other evocative sounds. This exhibition will also invite visitors to meditate and escape the stresses of daily life, providing a serene space for contemplation and relaxation. The Artist in Residence programme at Fire Station is a world-class initiative dedicated to nurturing and promoting Qatar’s artistic talents. It provides aspiring young artists with a platform to refine their creative skills through expert mentorship, production support, and curatorial guidance.

Dr AlKhuzama AlHarami, an artist-in-residence at Fire Station (2023-2024) and an artificial intelligence artist with a PhD in Computer Engineering, aims to dissolve the barriers between artificial intelligence and artistic expression. Guillaume Rouseré, previously an artist-in-residence (2018-2019) and an alumni-in-residence (2021) at Fire Station, is a French sound artist based in Qatar who employs sound as a vehicle for innovative explorations into the nexus of nature, culture, and history.

Commenting on the occasion, Khalifa Ahmad Al Obaidli, Director of Fire Station, said: ‘We invite everyone to immerse themselves in these captivating experiences and discover the profound connections between art, nature, and society.’

Saida Al-Khulaifi, Exhibition Curator, added: ‘Neighbours of the Sea’ and ‘Etheralscape’ are remarkable showcases of the artists’ ability to intertwine their personal narratives with the broader cultural and environmental contexts of Qatar. Each piece invites viewers to engage with the art on a deeper level, fostering a greater appreciation for the intricate relationships between our heritage, surroundings, and modern life. It has been a privilege to work with such talented artists and bring these immersive experiences to the public.’

Entry to the exhibitions will be available free of charge for Adult Residents of Qatar or GCC countries.

Garage Gallery Hours
Saturday to Thursday: 9 am – 7 pm
Friday: 1:30 pm – 7 pm

For more information and ticketing, please visit https://www.firestation.org.qa/.

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