To mark the third anniversary of the blockade against Qatar, Qatar Museums (QM), under the leadership of its Chairperson HE Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, unveiled a series of public art installations featuring local and international artists.

Chosen on the basis of the annual 6/5 Open Call Initiative, and the special open call initiated by QM and the Public Works Authority (Ashghal), the artworks are intended to inspire hope and commemorate the historic period for the nation.

HE Sheikha Al Mayassa said that the resilience of the Qatar community – both Qatari and residents alike – is reflected upon the country’s achievements over the years, and more so during the blockade.

Every year we celebrate this moment of unity through public art installations. This year is particularly significant given the affairs of the rest of the world. The COVID-19 pandemic that has been brought to the surface allows for a moment of reflection on ourselves and how we live together.

She said that she is very proud of the people living in Qatar,and the images will be treasured in the National Museum photo archives forever.

I thank all those who participated, and invite those who still want to participate to continue doing so on our website.

French artist Guillaume Rouseré
French artist Guillaume Rouseré and his artwork at the Msheireb station (@almayassahamad)

French artist Guillaume Rouseré, a resident in Qatar, was selected as part of the recent Qatar Museums Annual 6/5 initiative Open Call to realise his proposal ‘Allow Me’. The work is on display in Msheireb Metro Station in partnership with Qatar Rail.

Rouseré’s work translates into sculptural form an audio recording of the poignant and unforgettable speech delivered by HH the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani during the opening of the 72nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York in 2017. The artist cast the beautifully patterned sound waves in plaster, and then used that form to create a natural-looking, fossil-like sculpture in limestone.

According to Rouseré the speech resonated as a message of thanks and inclusion into Qatari society, for him and for many of the residents and citizens of Qatar. The statement also underpinned the wishes to settle differences in peace without compromising the security of the people.

Minister of Transport and Communications, HE Jassim bin Saif Al Sulaiti, also stated his pride as the Doha Metro stations are being used as platforms for purposeful and focused art, enriching the art scene in Qatar. He praised the efforts of QM to develop, strengthen and support the cultural sector at various levels.

We are happy to choose the Musheireb Station – the main station and the largest Doha Metro station to showcase this unique work of art, which portrays a significant national symbolism for all Qatar citizens and residents, and commemorates the historic speech of HH the Amir.

The Supervisory Committee of Beautification of Roads and Public Places in Qatar has partnered with QM to present three public art pieces in 5/6 Park in Onaiza, including an area dedicated to display various forms of art.

Of the three works, two are drawn from the collection of Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art. ‘Poem’ (1963-65) and ‘Poem in Three Verses’ (1963-65) were made by Lebanese sculptor and painter Saloua Raouda Choucair (1917-2017). Made of vertically stacked modular and uniquely tessellating abstract forms, the sculptures hinted at Islamic and modernist architecture and the rhythmic movement of Qasa’id verse. The artworks were inspired by Choucair’s interest in the unitary structures of mathematics, science, architecture, Arabic script, and Sufi transcendence.

The Annual 6/5 initiative of Qatar Museums has chosen Qatari artist Faisal Al Hajri to create an installation titled ‘Al Sumod (Withstand)’, which will also be on display at the 5/6 Park. The installation comprises dozens of pillars in a circle, giving way to an empty space in the centre, evoking the feeling of the blockade fading away.

Videos and images submitted to the open call was projected on the façade of the National Museum of Qatar (NMoQ) and on the 5/6 arches located at the 5/6 interchange starting on the evening of 5 June, and was put on display from sunset until sunrise, to mark the anniversary of the blockade.

According to the Head of QM Public Art Department Abdulrahman Al Ishaq, the art installations were chosen for their genuine and simple messages of hope and optimism, reflecting how the country and its people have used the unjust blockade as an inspiration to move forward against all odds.

We hope that connecting people through art and creativity will help bridge any divides.

Spearheaded by QM Chairperson HE Sheikha Al Mayassa, public art is a central focus in QM’s mission to push the boundaries of traditional museum model and offer cultural experiences in public spaces. These artworks join the growing and outstanding collection of paintings and artworks by local and international artists. Hand-picked for their immersive and thought-provoking nature, these public art installations serve as an inspiration for the next generation of cultural workers.