By Hubert Vaz
A mixed batch of 32 artists have come together once again tojointly showcase interesting aspects of Oman through their paintings to mark Oman’s 49th National Day.
‘Strokes of Gratitude’, organised by Rangrez, the artist group of the Indian Social Club, is being held under the aegis of the Indian Embassy. The exhibition opens on November 7 with an inaugural function at the embassy grounds.
It showcases handpicked paintings on canvas made by Rangrez members on the theme – Oman.
Sushmita Gupta, a key organiser, said that each of the curated art showcases different painting styles using medium of the artists’ choice.
The exhibition will run for three weeks during which the paintings will be displayed in rotating batches at four prominent hotels in Muscat – Hormuz Grand, Mysk, Levatio and Oman Sheraton.
The selection process involved a panel that had on it Omani artists besides Muscat-based other Arab and Indian artists, buyers and art lovers.
The voting system in place allowed connoisseurs to pass, reject or choose a vote in between.
Each of these votes had a numerical value which were then added up to make the selection.
Asserting that the National Day is a time to visibly express gratitude to His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said, Sushmita, also one of the participating artists, said, “Waves of gratitude is what I have felt again and again for the last two decades that I have lived here for His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said for under his kingship Oman has literally been a heaven on earth for such an extended period of time.
“That now truly is a rare scenario for any part of the world.
“This year is super special because I got an opportunity to participate in the this exhibition. Honestly, I feel extremely lucky to be able to express my thankfulness through my art.”
Here’s what some of the participating artists said:
My painting is about the celebration of Oman’s 49th National Day and about our Wise Ruler His Majesty, the Sultan. I have tried to portray his vision and the way he has re-sculpted the nation like a magician. He fine-tuned the country like a beautiful piece of music and made it so peacefulthat it blends with its nature and its people.
‘Strokes of Gratitude’ has provided me an opportunity to thank this wonderful country and our beloved, His Majesty the Sultan. My painting is inspired from a photo composition by a friend and nature photographer and it conveys the fact that, in the face of tough times, everyone is safe and happy under the care of His Majesty the Sultan.
Women in Oman have been involved in handicrafts since time immemorial. In my painting, a woman is seen making an incense burner out of mud. I appreciate this initiative taken by Indian Embassy to support Indian artists in Oman.
My painting, Breaking Hori-zons is an attempt to cover two important symbols of Oman – heritage and future aspirations. The Arabian horse has been a key animal and friend while the Omani woman is the symbol of future aspirations of the nation. Together their strength and vision shall be breaking horizons for Oman’s betterment.
My painting is called Side by Side. I have portrayed two Omani women of two different age groups, of two distinct fashion styles and thought processes may not agree on somethings but will perhaps always watch each other’s back.
The culture, life and music of Oman are great. They carry with them fond memories of past life. We can hear the habits of their traditional music behind the various jobs they engage in. This is a painting that combines the best of Oman’s life, culture and music, which can be compared to any other life in the world that is invaluable.