Qatar Museums has over 30 public art installations planned to be placed in different spots across the country for the FIFA World Cup.
Qatar has seen tremendous changes in the public art sphere following the bid to host the upcoming FIFA World Cup.
Over the past two years, art installations have sprung up across Doha as part of Qatar Museums’ JedariArt public art initiative, inviting local and international artists to paint murals across the city.
“Public art is the first thing you see when you enter the country. The big yellow bear in the airport and other artworks position Qatar as a cultural hub both regionally and internationally,” Sara Foryame, Head of Curatorial Planning in the public art section at Qatar Museums told Doha News.
This year, Qatar Museums has over 30 public art installations planned to be placed in different spots across the country for the FIFA World Cup.
Since its establishment in 2005, Qatar Museums has developed a distinctive public art scene, featuring works by both national and international artists.
Some of the most well-known are Damien Hirst’s The Miraculous Journey and Ali Hassan’s Desert Horse at Hamad International Airport in Qatar, as well as Richard Serra’s stunning East-West/West-East installation in Zekreet.
Artists are also bringing life to Doha’s urban spaces this month as part of JedariArt, an annual public art programme launched by Qatar Museums to add meaning and vibrancy to the city’s walls through curated murals and street art.
“I think the goal of this project [JedariArt] is to engage the community and simultaneously make art a safe place for public discourse,” Foryame said.
This year’s edition of JedariArt, which officially launched last week, features international artists from Pakistan and India, including local artists who have worked on different murals and graffiti art.
To mark International Artists Day, Doha News spoke to some of the artists behind various art installations around Qatar.
1. Arabian Village mural painting by Amal Serhan
Amal Serhan is a visual artist of Palestinian and Nicaraguan descent, based in Doha.
“My journey in the arts started at a young age when I used to get in trouble for doodling on all my school books. A few years later, I found myself participating in international galleries representing the Middle Eastern art scene in countries like Morocco, UAE and Jordan,” Serhan told Doha News.
Her recent 10 metre mural, which is part of Qatar Museums’ JedariArt project, gave her the opportunity to display an aspect of Arabian culture that relates to music and women.
“I wanted to present movement and loudness through my painting. To have a piece of me left there for everyone to see and connect with is quite a privilege and what any artist would dream of,” she added.
Serhan’s colour selections and brush strokes are inspired by her inner journey and the way she perceives the world, visually and emotionally. She has been an art educator and an advocate for over 15 years, hoping to spread the love of artistic expression around the World.
Her project can be found at Salwa Beach resort.
2. JedariArt x Super7
Lee, also known as Super7 on social media, is a practicing graffiti and street artist from the UK, who has been residing in Qatar since 2019. For the past 25 years, he has enjoyed painting and collaborating with different artists from around the world.
His recent JedariArt mural is a painting of a falcon, which symbolises ambition, aspiration and freedom in Arab culture.
“Falcons show strength, which can inspire people to fight against their own fears and have clear focus moving forward,” Lee told Doha News.
“I hope anyone who sees my murals and artwork can gain inspiration, strength, and a desire to better themselves and can pass it on to others to help uplift the communities they live in,” he added.
His mural is located at the Woqod petrol station on Salwa Road.
3. Traditional truck art by All India Permit and Phool Patti
As part of this year’s edition of JedariArt, a team of Pakistani and Indian artists have painted a traditional truck mural in Qatar. The artists are part of the truck art group All India Permit based in India and Phool Patti from Pakistan.
“For our freshly painted mural, Painter Shabbu and I have used vibrant colors, scripts and motifs inspired from the incredible trucks of India,” Farid Baw, founder of All India Permit told Doha News.
“The artwork also reflects the ethnic diversity at Al Mansoura, Doha. We are thankful to Qatar Museums for celebrating Indian and Pakistani truck art and helping it travel across borders,” he added.
The mural which measures an estimated 23×33 feet has been painted at the Al Mansoura Metro Station.
4. “Family Reunion” by Abdulaziz Yousef
Abdulaziz Yousef, a Qatari artist, started out as a comic book illustrator before rising to prominence as one of the country’s most successful fine artists.
In 2020, he participated in Qatar Museums’ first JedariArt project. One of Yousef’s pieces is an interpretation of a man wearing a thobe, which can be found at the Interchange Al Tarfa and Al Khor Interchange.
The second mural, which can be found at Msheireb Metro Station, resembles a “family reunion” – depicting the Qatari tradition of extended family gatherings.
“My inspiration is expressing elements of the Qatari community and sharing our values and culture using my modern illustration style,” Yousef told Doha News.
The artist recently collaborated with Qatar Airways and B12 beach club resort for a mural, which is set to open to the public before the beginning of the World Cup.
“I think the beauty of public art is that it can be interpreted differently by different people. I don’t want to convey what I think the new mural painting means to me, but I hope it resonates with someone,” Yousef said.