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Mixed Media

February 14, 2015

I have zero knowledge in art but I am married to someone who is an amateur artist. Who loves taking me to galleries over cinemas honestly. Hated earlier the annoying tours but have now come to appreciate art in all forms, especially mixed media. I know what awaits me if we have to holiday in Italy or France lolz so avoid it at all costs hahaha!

Besides watercolours and acrylic, mine does the scrap art (or what we call Mixed Media today) and even Rangoli! So as his interest in art is vast and varied, even I am looking at art with a different eye rather than in a conventional angle.

Frankly I have never visited any art gallery in my own hometown. Its simply not my cup of tea. But here in Doha, our daily walks we program around art museums and galleries! Weather is superb, crisp right now. Evenings are glorious!  I have in recent years seen some of the best produced in middle-east in Mathaf, Katara, Souk, Museum etc. Err… My knowledge in this area is poor or I must be able to reel off some good names by now! I do recall one very famous artist – from the reputed Khimji (business) family in Oman… The Khimjis are Gujrathi Hindus, the first ever ones to be granted Omani citizenship… I have seen the display of some mixed media art works of a Khimji in Doha – outstanding I must say. Even as a layman I can say as much… I think someone with art inclination can appreciate it all better… I have seen some great Iraqi works – cannot recollect the names. They adorned wall to wall the Mathaf galleries…. of such a huge dimension, such a painstaking work… Of all I have seen here in Qatar, I think I liked the Iraqi art the best. Which makes me think, all their anguish, longing, pain and suffering – their artists are pouring into canvas that seems to come to life and talk to you… Because any other art form like music or dance is also ‘haram’ in this part of the world… Visual art therefore becomes the only solace for those who want to vent their emotions… If silence can speak, it speaks in the language of art…

After walking through some great works featuring different nationalities including Indian, I no more subscribe to the view that art is mere painting.  Art need not have to be monotonously boring! Visual Art is so very diverse and aplenty, and even three-dimensional, and what a range of media to express your heart in! Metal, fabric, scrap anything can be transformed into an appreciable piece of art.

I think the 3-dimensional art work is also somewhat quirky! It needs a keen eye to observe and appreciate this kind of creativity. Many may dismiss it outright like I used to earlier.

Indian artists, I am seeing, are projecting Rangoli, Block-printing, Rajastani-Kutch traditional home art, Madhubani painting, Tanjore painting and even Henna etc as a great and unique art idea. Very enterprising marketing! Quite a no. of Indian artists are teaching art as well… I once saw an Indian doctor showcase his wares – a mixed media made entirely with Pepsi, Coke bottles, Toffee Wrappers, Tin caps, Maggi cartons etc. Oh how our mind can be applied in such an intriguing fashion! And when there is a theme to your creativity,nothing to beat it. I saw Arabs lapping up his stuff at the rates he quoted. No bargain! So when you have the brains, you have the world at your feet. That doctor I spoke to was from Anna Nagar, next bus-stop from mine in Chennai. I was ashamed I shared none of his passions even though we grew up in same environs, speaking a same lingo…

I relish very much my Doha gallery rounds of late and in fact look forward to more – such a peace and quiet you find here. Not many visitors sadly excepting perhaps the artists’fraternity. And those tagging along like me!!!

Slowly but steadily I am learning to appreciate Art. Still the names are fuzzy! Impossible to connect and retain names with the art works. I curse my limited knowledge and awareness in the subject.

In closed spaces, the artists expressions seem to conduct a mutiny on your mind! Often I am left curious wanting to know the artist better! Works from Iraq and Palestine look the most painful, tortured. The gleeful are the local Qataris’. Seen the most perverted – the artist’s face was inscrutable. Being a woman, all I could do was rush past his works.

The colourful are our own Indian – celebration of life in every form. From the bride in red weeping in the car leaving her maternal home to the green rolling hills of Munnar to the yellow haldi paste we use in our kitchen, India is a riot of colours and humanity, what else. A visual treat to watch – whether its oil on canvas or photography. Anything on India roots me to the spot. My love for my nation and its people and our culture comes forth oozing – through my eyes and my heart… There is none other like us…


Proud to see Subodh Gupta Art Installations  in Katara Cultural Village. Looks like the artist was paid millions for each of his creations! Art of recycled wastes.

You can check out the images and art works of Subodh Gupta. His creations are sold at Sotheby.

I was wondering about the weathering effects on art installations in open-air. In India, the rate of erosion and decomposition is faster. I have seen things getting rusty, older quicker. But then there is hardly any rainfall in these arid desert sands. So rusting or corroding may not be an issue after all. My husband assures me, the metal must be highly galvanized, undergoing strict treatment process before being cast into any sculpture. Nevertheless, how the different bits and pieces are moulded, fused together seamless to create this extraordinary masterpiece is amazing! Such a solid creation! Beautiful work of Art! Proud to see display of Indian talent in a foreign soil. Hats off.


Photography is also an art I love. Photo galleries are a hot favourite.


This is a photo-picture I clicked in my mobile – of a party in suds in the island of Ibiza. Credits: National Geographic. Wonderstruck by the sense of abandonment of the crowds. Is this what liberation is all about? How I wish I could be in there?!


Calligraphy is another art I have come to appreciate. If and only if I could read Arabic! It would make a lot of sense that way! Like the crystals display even if we cannot afford to dream of owning a single piece! Fragile but so elegant! What a world of beauty! Window-shopping is more than enough! I know I am getting the rarest chance when I step into an art gallery ever – to feast my eye on such a lavish spread. This is food for my soul.

Is there something I have dreamt of: Yes, wanted always to see the pyramids of Giza and the dinosaur fossils in US museums. National Geographic & other sources keep me happy anyway. A great lover of Wilbur Smith African fictions, always wanted to tour Africa right from my school days. The pyramids in Ethiopia for instance are the most ornate and grandest and ancient over those in Egypt. Lets see.


Have lots of pics in mobile and in my system – especially photo shoots I liked best. Will try to add in this space more from time to time. The problem is, I made the mistake of clicking everything with me in front of the creations lolz! (Rather hubby did.) From henceforth I shall make it a point to click ART AND ART ONLY! Again if you have a natural passion for Art, I think you can enjoy it all better!



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