JEDARIART: Meet the artists – part two
In part one of this two-part series we met the first group of artists to have adorned the walls of Doha with the murals that make up JEDARIART – Qatar’s latest public art programme.
Work on the murals took place in December 2020 with one clear goal – to bring together local artists to add vibrancy and meaning to the walls across the city through murals and street art.
For this post, we speak to the second half of this year’s JEDARIART cohort…
Al Anoud Al-Ghamdi is a Qatari and calligrapher who seeks to spread the message of authenticity, heritage, unity and peace through Arabic calligraphy in a modern and artistic way. Her work for JEDARIART depicts a geometric set of adjoining Arabic calligraphy taken from a prayer which translates to "And say, oh my Lord increase my knowledge." Even more significantly, the mural is set beside Qatar National Library's Metro Station as to emphasise the library's rich array of knowledge.
In her own words…
"Art and calligraphy are essential elements of my life and define me today in many different shapes and forms - resembling my main form of expression. I wanted to showcase the beauty and power of Arabic calligraphy in a modern way using geometric art. I'm hoping through my work; people will be able to view the power of Arabic calligraphy in a modern style."
Dimitrije Bugarski is a Serbian mural and visual artist who obtained a Master's degree in Architecture from the University of Novi Sad, Serbia in 2011. His work in JEDARIART is part of his series that focuses on the psychological aspects seen in all of us, in this case trying to visualise dealing with hardships abstractly. The work depicts a semi-abstract figure holding up its head above the water. Using vibrant colours, Dimitrije is able to achieve a balance between a deep subject matter with the inclusion of fun, vibrant and pop colours.
In his own words…
"When people see my work, I hope they are encouraged and unafraid to try new things. Besides, my work is located in the Fire station adjacent to the street for all to see. I believe the Fire Station is the epitome and hub for artists. Almost like the saying goes ‘all roads lead to Rome’, I believe that all the roads in Qatar lead to the Fire Station."
Muna Al-Bader & Sharefa Al-Mannai (joint collaboration)
Muna Al-Bader and Sharefa Al-Mannai are both Qatari artists who have collaborated together in the making of their JEDARIART mural. Their work entitled Flow Through the Time is located on Doha's Express Highway. The mural represents a journey through time as torn papers; the fragment memories of both artists. The mural demonstrates Muna and Sharefas's memory, where the most simple resource of having fun included constructing a paper plane.
In their own words…
"We decided to represent a fragment of our childhood since we wanted to convey how the past remains a beautiful place that will never return but will always stay with us. The paper planes we used to make when we were young are still things we make today to entertain ourselves. Since our mural is located on Doha's Express Highway, we hope people who drive by will be able to get a quick glimpse of the beautiful journey of the past."
Thamer Al-Dosari is a Qatari artist who engages in various art forms such as fine art, graffiti art and calligraphy art. His work for JEDARIART is located in the 5 / 6 flyover and depicts a hand turning a new page, representing how Qatar is "turning" towards a positive future. This is also emphasised by Thamers incorporation of a wrinkled page as to suggest the past, in contrast to the brightness of the wall next to it as to represent a utopian future.
In his own words…
"My inspiration was mainly driven by the Gulf Blockade that occurred in 2017. Although I was restricted not to depict certain figures or flags, having it placed under the 5 / 6 flyover (which was constructed due to the blockade), enhances my mural's metaphorical message as to suggest how Qatar is striving towards a better and positive future, hence the hand turning a new page."
Huda Bashal is a Qatari artist whose aim is to create art that is dreamful yet cheerful. At its core, Huda describes her work as an intersection between abstract and realism. Her work for JEDARIART entitled Be Like a Fish is set upon a blue roundel shape depicting a girl with a peculiar fish head, as she extends a welcoming hand up for a fish making its way to her hand. The work emphasises the circumstances of life, how one must "go with the flow", like a fish flowing within its waters.
In her own words...
“My inspiration is mainly derived by two things, my feelings and subconscious, and my love for reading meaningful quotes. I decided to approach JEDARIART with this mural as I wanted viewers to delve into a sort of surrealist spectacle. However, my work is open for interpretation, and I really hope it works in different ways for viewers, whether they get a sense of relaxation by the deep blue colours or a sense of euphoria.”
Aisha Al-Fadhala is a Qatari artist and designer, best known for her bright, vibrant and colourful artworks. Her work for JEDARIART located in the fire station includes depicting various cartoon figures seemingly stacked upon one another while riding a bike. Having experienced various media ranging from paintings and prints to digital fabrications, Aisha enjoys being diverse in her work. Anything can be influential; therefore, her art can neither be limited nor bound to one subject.
In her own words...
“Disney has been a major part of my life since childhood. When I was young, I would create my own character for each cartoon show I watched. I guess it's an aspect that grew with me. First, I enjoy making random shapes and lines that slowly form into a creature then see where it would take me as I go. I wish people to enjoy my work and have fun engaging with it simply.”
Shuaa Al-Kuwari is a Qatari artist who enjoyed the many forms of arts such as reading, writing and drawing throughout her childhood. Exploring different forms of artistic expressions, Shuaa found herself gravitating and deriving much of her work from cubism. Her work in the 5 / 6 Park Control Room depicts a Qatari woman figure in a cubist fashion. The face appears in the form of intertwined cubes, adorned with golden jewellery while wearing a traditional dress.
In her own words…
“My inspiration for this mural was my mother’s face that I always enjoyed drawing. I did not merely want to focus on cubism but also touch on elements such as modernity and symbolism. I believe the site is perfect for my mural as it counterbalances the gathering of the children in the park under their own mother's care. I hope my work honours all the mothers who strive for their sons and daughters towards the best in life.”
Maha Al-Jaidah is a Qatari artist who enjoys working on spaces, interiors, product/industrial design, and graphic/digital art. Her contribution to JEDARIART represents a common stereotype Arabs face worldwide, the stereotype being that Arabs buy their way through life, which is why she chose to depict a man in thobe writing the words "money can't buy dreams". Maha painted a scene of an "old neighbourhood" with a brick wall effect while contrasting with Dohas skyline as its background.
In her own words…
“I wanted to create a mural that we usually don't see around Doha, where it approaches stereotypes by using common graffiti styles, brick wall, graffiti-style text, etc. My work was inspired by Banksy, and I wanted it to be straightforward, yet have a strong message. I aim to get people to talk and debate about the subject and question whether they agree or disagree with such stereotypes.”
JEDARIART murals are now complete and available to view around at locations around Doha. Find out more here.