Spreading love and peace through art

 06 Dec 2017 - 8:58

Spreading love and peace through art
Nasser Al Attiya (left) talks about some of his paintings while Khalifa Al Obaidli (centre), Director of the Fire Station looks on, at the opening of Al Attiya’s exhibition at Doha Fire Station on Monday. Pic: Kammutty VP/The Peninsula

By Raynald C Rivera | The Peninsula

Art is a potent weapon to achieve peace, Qatari artist Nasser Al Attiya believes.

“Art is a two-edged weapon. It can be used to breed hate or attain peace. It is extremely wrong to use art for hate, but if an artist uses it to send positive message even in a bad situation we can find a way to have more peace,” said Al Attiya, while speaking to local media.

Asked on the role the Qatari artist plays given the current situation in the region, he stressed: “The role of Qatari artist is to show his love for his country.”

He was speaking on the sidelines of the opening of his solo exhibition ‘Planet Perfumes’ at Doha Fire Station’s Workshop 3, following his successful three-month residency at Qatar’s studio in the prestigious Cité internationale des Arts in Paris.

An extension of the Fire Station: Artist in Residence programme in Doha, Paris residency provides one lucky Qatari artist with studio space and all the benefits of an overseas art residency including opportunities to collaborate with like-minded individuals, the chance to develop their craft in a new setting and draw inspiration from museums, galleries and the city’s vibrant art scene during a three-month period.

For Al Attiya, Paris residency has given him invaluable experience that has changed his life as an artist interacting and collaborating with other artists from around the world during which he started his unique project ‘Planet Perfumes’ which combines sculpture and painting in creating artworks that reveal a person’s distinct personality, beliefs and message.

Planet Perfumes in an ongoing collaborative art project which invites people to create their own artworks using the perfume bottles sculpted by Al Attiya.

“Around 30 art pieces for the project were made during my stay in Paris which I will exhibit later. There will be three separate days when anyone – artist or not — can come and create artworks using the sculptures and I hope they’re going to put a message, something they believe in and tell people about their thoughts,” he said.

The exhibition features 24 paintings, some of which Al Attiya created in Paris while the rest were made in Doha including oil paintings which resemble flags of Turkey, Kuwait, Oman and France shaped like butterflies.

“I chose these countries because they have supported us during the situation, though there are still lots of countries I haven’t done yet. The butterfly for me represents freedom, that’s why I made the flag to resemble like butterfly wings,” he explained.

Nasser’s residency is the second organised by the Fire Station this year, and follows a three month stay by Ebtisam Al Saffar in Paris that began in January. The experience of both artists demonstrates how well established the programme has become in supporting creative talent to develop and flourish.

Khalifa Al Obaidli, Director of the Fire Station, said: “The team and I are very proud that we’re able to celebrate yet another milestone success from this wonderful creative hub that we’ve worked so hard to develop at the Fire Station: Artist in Residence. It’s a pleasure to share with the local community this fantastic body of work created by Nasser Al-Attiya following his time in Paris. He fully embraced all the opportunities that this residency represents and his experience perfectly highlights why it is so important to us to continuously nurture future generations of artists and provide them with a platform to reach their full potential whilst drawing inspiration from the world around them.”

Al Attiya’s works are on show until December 31, from 9am to 7pm.