Art

Qatari artist’s exhibition a cautionary tale on environment

معرض لفنانة قطرية يروي حكاية تحذيرية عن البيئة

In the wake of global climate change talks and the pressing environment challenges the world faces, Qatari artist Sara Al Obaidly tells of a cautionary tale of what the world would look like when mankind exploits Earth’s natural resources in her solo exhibition aptly dubbed “What Remains” which opened yesterday at Fire Station.

An artist must remain relevant to the times pursuing urgent issues through the powerful medium of art, so does Al Obaidly in this compelling exhibition which features 17 photographs, a video and a charcoal installation.

Fresh from her three-month residency at the prestigious International Studio & Curatorial Program (ISCP) in New York, USA, Al Obaidly presents the product of a self-initiated project when she journeyed for two-and-a-half weeks covering 800km of land and rivers across the island of Madagascar in 2016 only to discover something she did not expect.

“My vision of Madagascar was luscious forests but when I went I didn’t realize they had this issue of deforestation and as a documentary landscape photographer I was really drawn to photograph the landscape. I couldn’t look at the photos for three years; I was maybe just upset to look at them,” she told The Peninsula.

It was only during her New York residency that she decided “to look back at those photos I took in 2016 and really kind of digest and understand and came up with the project.”

The work asks profound questions about human civilization’s impact on the environment and Al Obaidly hopes to initiate dialogue with a serious message and a call to action, encouraging visitors to self-reflect, spurring all of them to contemplate and re-evaluate their relationships with and connection to the natural environment in this modern world, and the footprint they will leave behind. “As humans we need to really understand our impact on the environment, and our relationship with Mother Nature is so important. We really need to get back in touch with and respect Mother Nature,” she said.

“Days ago While I was setting up the exhibition someone came in and said something that to me was really powerful. He said generations have given this world, this land to us, and in the last 50 years we destroyed it and I thought it was so true, and I think now is the time that people need to wake up and really give back to Mother Earth,” she stressed.

She expressed hope through the exhibition she could raise money for the cause of helping rainforests and planting trees.

Al Obaidly is an interdisciplinary artist, whose self-initiated projects explore the varying political, philosophical and social issues we face today and attempting to capture images that present a truth. Her work has been exhibited internationally in museums and galleries including in St. Petersburg, Berlin, London, New York and Doha.

As an artist, she believes it’s high time to get dialogue going on regarding environmental issues through art.

“There are lots of other artists that exactly deal with similar issues but for me I want to highlight these things: we know what’s happening in the Amazon; Indonesia and Bolivia are burning; Madagascar has the highest level of deforestation in the world. I think it’s very important to have dialogue and raise awareness about this issue,” she said.

Created under the patronage of Qatar Museums Chairperson, H E Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, the New York Residency programme, in partnership with ISCP, is an extension of QM’s Fire Station: Artist in Residence program.

“What Remains” is open until October 12 at Doha Fire Station Workshop 3.

Raynald C Riviera | The Peninsula

استضافت مطافئ مقر الفنانين مساء أمس، معرضًا للفنانة سارة العبيدلي تحت عنوان “ما تبقى”، والذي يأتي تتويجاً لفترة إقامتها الفنية التي استمرت ثلاثة أشهر ببرنامج “الإقامة الفنية بنيويورك”..

ويعد المعرض مبادرة شخصية كانت بدايتها رحلة قامت بها سارة العبيدلي إلى جزيرة مدغشقر في عام 2016، انطلقت من العاصمة أنتاناناريفو مروراً بالساحل الغربي لتنتهي في بيلو سور مير، استكشفت خلالها العبيدلي أكثر من 800 كيلومترً برًّا وبحرًا وعبر الأنهار. ويجمع المعرض الأعمال الفوتوغرافية وتصميم الصوت والأفلام والأعمال الفنية المركبة في الفراغ.

ويستكشف المعرض الذي يستمر حتى 12 أكتوبر المقبل، ما ستتركه البشرية خلفها بمجرد استغلال الموارد الطبيعية للأرض بالكامل باسم التقدم، حيث يطرح العمل الفني أسئلة عميقة حول تأثير الحضارة الإنسانية على بيئتنا.

وتأمل العبيدلي في أن تبدأ الحوار برسالة جادة ودعوة إلى التحرك، وتشجع الزائرين على التأمل الذاتي، من خلال معرضها “ماتبقى”، بهدف دفع الجمهور إلى إعادة التفكير في علاقاته مع البيئة الطبيعية في هذا العالم الحديث وإعادة تقييم هذه العلاقات، والبصمة التي سيتركونها للأجيال القادمة.

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