Sharjah: Al Qasba, a premier family-friendly destination from Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq), was back with the 3rd edition of “Reflection”, the festival of Music, Art, and Knowledge. The festival celebrates music, art, and knowledge, and is organized this year around the theme of Hope: Light at the end of the tunnel, as a dose of optimism after the challenges of the previous years.
Art4you Gallery opened the “Hope – Light at the End of the Tunnel” Art Exhibition in the Sharjah Reflection Festival on 15th Dec 2021. Instead of visualizing the pains, the artist’s paintings offered a rare serene beauty, which they hopes to console the people that have been caught up in covid -19. ‘Art is the highest form of Hope’ .
The aim of this initiative is to spread works inspiring ‘HOPE’ during times when the world needs it the most. Art inspired by the lockdown but focused on connecting through new means, recognizing the power of sharing experiences through art, the highest form of hope. “We wanted to see what happens in the brain when you look at beautiful paintings.” The experiment concluded that when you look at art “whether it is a landscape, a still life, an abstract or a portrait – there is strong activity in that part of the brain related to pleasure.” and found their blood flow increased in a certain part of the brain by as much as 10%, which is the equivalent to gazing at a loved one – says Jesno Jackson, The Curator of the exhibition.
“For me, it was a discharge of negative energy that I have got during the pandemic. I used to feel annoyed but didn’t know how to get rid of the pressures. Luckily, I finally found that I can seek shelter in the beautiful things – my ART,” artist Parisa Keramati says. Some of the artists, like Labiba Ferhat, tell a story of a man walking through the desert towards his home. The artist has brilliantly used cold colors in mosaic art style to depict his path through the hardships. This is then contrasted by the warm colors to signify the hope that kept him motivated to reach his destination. Her painting was a homage to her country Algeria. And Artist Natalia Vityugova, try to put a positive light through their brushes and colors that captured the beauty of Old Dubai, and tried to find an escape for the people and themselves to momentarily forget the sounds of the world around during this time, instead tried to change the misery on people’s faces by using delightful colors. Artist Megha Manjarekar has constructed different segments in the painting to provide viewers with contrasting opinions. The work is a blend of elements, from the depiction of barren land to fertility and growth. The form of Buddha ties it all together, depicting hope is at the core of the life circle.
Hope in the pandemic. Material: acrylic on canvas. Size: 45cm*60cm. Artist: Parisa Keramati
Art has to step in during times of difficulties. “In the exhibition, we have special sections on paintings of abstracts by Chris Barlet, Kolsoom Seynali, and Hina Raheel,” says Jesno, adding that the artistic interpretations of abstractions of HOPE can offer people a nostalgic consolation before the pandemic. And they are awaiting its HOPE and desire from their hearts.
Surbhi, one of the visitors who attend the exhibition, expressed her gladness in the paintings and wished all the world to see that there is still beauty, despite what happened to the world. They’re still people capable of creating beautiful arts like this. This certainly calls on the world that there are hope and life inside this country.”
“Young men and women are looking, through their paintings, for love and peace. In these paintings, You can feel the touch of a person who wants peace and a good life,” says Rengi Cherian, the organizer of the exhibition, Jesno Jackson and the artists came together and decided to unite to inspire and show the role of the arts. The Festival themed ’HOPE’ (15th – 18th of December), took place in Al Qasba Sharjah also featured other prominent artists from 11 nationalities including Tabasoom Samadani, Yasmine Mohammed, Amira Azmy, Ang Jing-Jing, Yoshita Ahmed, Anna Rica Valete, Honey Taheri, among others.
Art by Honey Taheri
Paintings by Honey Taheri
The festival ended with the mission to illuminate Hope through creative talents with exceptionalities. This event was dedicated to showcasing the artists’ interpretation of ‘Rays of Hope’ through their artistic minds. This exhibition was created to foster an environment of encouragement, inspiration, and kindness with one another. The exhibition was officially opened by Mr. Yaqoob Al Ali – Executive Director & Private Advisor, Office of His Highness Sheikh Juma Bin Maktoum Al Maktoum in the presence of our Guests Mr. Maktoum Al Marzouqi as Mr. Hamdan.
Reflection festival aimed at being a platform for artists and learning ground for visitors to enjoy a weekend filled with fun, art, culture, and togetherness. Art4you Gallery also had organized other activities like Performance art by Ismail C.P with a dripping art technique, where brush not touched on the canvas. And Live Art by 20 artists on the theme HOPE. Art4you initiated Cafe Talk by Natalia Vityugova on the topic – Art & Hope, and Panel Discussion with Keynote speakers – Isha Farha Quraishy, Rudra Dasgupta, and Sheetal Durve on the theme – HOPE.
Through this unique open-air art fest, they ensured that all forms of creative expression were represented and shared with the community. Al Qasba welcomed everyone in this 4 days Festival with great time outdoors which also contributed to the festival’s success.