All photos by Chantelle D’mello
A new art exhibition exploring Qatar through different materials and themes has opened to the public this week at the Hamad Bin Khalifa University Student Center in Education City.
“Rock Paper Scissors” is a collaboration between three expat artists that includes more than a dozen pieces inspired by life in Doha and the Middle East.
The exhibition features the work of Kelley Lowe and Fleming Jeffries, who are based locally, as well as Sophiya Khwaja, a Dubai-based contributor.
Together, the three women explore physical and surreal dimensions through hybrid installations, etchings and prints, using raw materials like soap, chalk, rope, latex, henna and sand.
In a statement, the artists said that the exhibit aims to explore themes of scavenging, mapping and deciphering as they coincide with the joy and process of “making.”
Speaking to Doha News, Jeffries, a 40-year-old assistant professor at the Virginia Commonwealth University from Washington, DC, explained the inspiration behind her work involved Qatari themes.
That included landscapes and motifs like the Sidra tree and falcons, as well as materials such as henna and sand.
A printmaker, most of Jeffries’ work features etchings with a Qatari twist done on copper and other elements, which are then transferred onto paper.
On display are a lithograph depicting a birthday cake with a falcon topper; an etching in an homage to the famed tapestry The Hunt for the Unicorn featuring a Sidra tree in place of the work’s original foliage; a project featuring abaya trimmings; and a drawing of a construction machine painted with dust and henna.
Meanwhile, installations by Kelley Lowe, currently a M.Sc candidate in Conservation Studies at UCL-Qatar, explore plastic, rope and gypsum, in an “effort to create compositions that are at once reminiscent of minimalist and feminist art but also reflect a preoccupation with current environmental challenges.”
Her work includes a large tri-colored installation of latex gloves, a massive macrame rope structure and a standing sculpture of caution tape and tubes.
While Lowe has previously shown her work in Qatar, this is Jeffries and Khwaja’s first public exhibition. More information about the artists’ works can be found on the event’s Facebook page here.
“There aren’t many spaces here. Artists don’t have many opportunities to show their work, and that’s a challenge,” Jeffries said, adding that despite the dearth of galleries, people within the local art circuit were supportive.
The exhibition is open to the public from 7am to midnight on weekdays, and from 1pm to midnight on weekends.