An exciting spring and summer programme awaits
It's safe to say that the year the world has had has been a year like no other. No country, city, or community was unaffected by the changes the world had to endure in 2020 – with almost all aspects of daily life affected as well. For many, Covid-19 didn’t just affect normal aspects of daily life and things we had to do; many of the things we love to do were also taken away from us. But 2021 is a new year, with new hopes and, slowly but surely, some of the things we love are returning – and that includes an exciting lineup of spring and summer exhibitions at Qatar Museums.
But why do they matter so much to us all? Nobody can dispute the importance of the role that art, culture and the exhibitions that come with them play in revitalising the soul, expand cultural horizons, stimulate minds and advance progress and creativity in any country. Galleries and museums make for a fertile ground of learning and development, but their role is not only limited to stimulating and revitalising creativity, but rather to create a platform for interaction between visitors, organisers, critics, and between the artists themselves alike. Something dearly missed in 2020 but, we hope and pray, returning in 2021.
With that in mind this post brings you some exciting updates from Qatar Museums' recently announced a series of spring/summer exhibitions, opening the doors for visitors to enjoy the various artistic values contained in the galleries covering a wide range of interests; including contemporary art, natural history, and collecting.
Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art to kick things off in March
Qatar Museums will inaugurate its series of exhibitions for 2021 with the exhibition "Kader Attia: On Silence" on 7 March at Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art.
The exhibition is a major solo exhibition dedicated to the work of the artist over the last two decades, curated by Abdellah Karroum, Director of Mathaf, with Assistant Curator Lina Ramadan. It will feature a wide range of work across all media and include site-specific installations, sculptures, collages, drawings, video, and photography.
The exhibition also explores themes of postcolonial trauma and the ensuing decades of psychiatric 'repair' at the social and individual level. The artist's intention and curatorial approach is to provoke the viewer's emotional and physical experience while encountering works placed at various levels in the museum galleries, seen from above, from underneath and from within but rarely straight on.
Mal Lawal returns to the National Museum of Qatar
Following the success of its previous editions in 2012 and 2014, Mal Lawal evolved in 2020-21 to provide a platform that brings together private collectors and helps support and further establish the practice of collecting in Qatar. The collections showcased the personal stories of the collectors and highlighted their passion for art, culture and heritage.
Explore the natural wonders surrounding Qatar's coastline
In addition to its many interests in various types of arts, Qatar Museums also pays great attention to everything related to the life sciences and nature. In 2021, in cooperation with ExxonMobil Research Qatar, the museum is holding a special exhibition on the magnificent dugong, affectionately known as the 'sea cow'.
The Arabian Gulf has the second largest concentration of dugongs in the world, after Australia. The largest concentration of these animals in the world was recently recorded off the coast of the State of Qatar, as these beautiful and gentle marine mammals have lived in Qatari waters for more than 7,500 years. And because the dugong sea cow carries a special cultural and environmental significance, it was chosen as the official mascot of the National Museum of Qatar.
The exhibition, titled: "Sea Cow Tales: Journeys in the Meadows of the Depth", starts from 30 March at the National Museum of Qatar.
Don't forget: You still have time to see many of 2020's exhibitions too
A number of exhibitions were extended from last season due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Among these exhibitions is the exhibition "Gray Time, Fifth Edition of the Artists Residency Program," which marks the conclusion of the fifth session of the Artistic Residency Program at Fire Station: Artists' Residence.
This annual initiative was established in 2015 with the aim of nurturing creative talent from Qatar and the world. The exhibition includes artworks that were created during the artistic residency period, during which the artists raised their passion to greater levels through cooperation with their creative colleagues and developing their own artistic techniques.
Among the artists who exhibit their work in the studios of the Fire Station are: Aisha Al-Mohannadi, Amira Al-Ajji, Ibtisam Al-Houthi, Hadeer Omar, Haitham Shrouf, Jasser Al-Agha, Latifah Al-Kuwari, Majdoline Nasrallah, Maryam Rifai, Maryam Al-Maadadi, Mashael Al-Hijazi, Maysa Al-Mu'min, and Mona Al-Badr. And Naela Al Thani, Nour Youssef, Suzana Juma, Hind Al Saad, and Amina Al Youssef.
The exhibition, which is being held in the Garage Gallery, at Fire Station: Artists' Residence, will continue until 24 July 2021.
Still time to see the 'Eye of the Falcon' too
The breathtaking "Eye of the Falcon: In Memory of Sheikh Saud Al Thani" exhibition remains open at the Museum of Islamic Art. The exhibition celebrates the outstanding achievements of one of the most important art collectors in Qatar, and the man who is credited for laying the foundation stone on which the art collections in Qatar Museums were built.
The exhibition, which will run until 10 April 2021, includes more than 300 pieces of art that vary between prehistoric fossils, ancient Egyptian antiquities, orientalist paintings and photographic masterpieces.