International Artists of Doha Prepare for Annual Exhibition

We chat to Qatar artist Annette Wendling-Willeke to find out what’s in store at the event, hosted by Qatar Foundation Community Services
BySusanna WolfeThursday , 24 April 2014
International Artists of Doha Prepare for Annual Exhibition

Congratulations on International Artists of Doha’s fourth annual exhibition! The theme this year is quite deep – Rooh Al Hayat: The Essence of Life. How have the different artists interpreted this theme?
This year’s exhibition theme serves as a common thread but is open enough to allow members their individual expression. The responses to the theme are as diverse as can be expected from a group of people with such different backgrounds - you will find the breadth of different styles and types of work, from realistic to abstract, from representational to conceptual, from painting to printing and from 2D to 3D.

IAD’s strength is really in its diversity – 22 artists from 12 different countries! What is the best thing about creating art alongside people from so many different places?
International Artists Doha is a platform for artists to meet like-minded people, to create art, exhibit art and discuss art. As such, it helps the individual to develop their own talent and strength through a lively exchange of ideas as well as the constant exposure to art and culture, which is extremely important to the journey of any artist.

Qatar is the one thing all of the artists in the group have in common. What themes come through in the artists’ work relating to the experience of living and working in Qatar?
As the group is very diverse, themes vary immensely. However, some common thoughts involve the culture and traditions of the Arabian Gulf, the constant change Doha is undergoing, construction, architecture, living between cultures, diversity.

Can you give us an idea about what to expect from your artwork in this exhibition?
When I am a guest in a culture, I pull inspiration from it, but it comes at a cost, which is only apparent when I move on: the feeling of loss. Interplay between cultures leaves me with a longing, or, more intensely, a yearning…that permeates every aspect of my life. Reflection is my coping tool; I contemplate belonging, absence, and change. Change, a transformation from one state to another, is essentially the life journey we all embark on. Life’s path unfolds in a cyclical pattern: from a beginning to an end, to a new beginning. Rooh al Hayat – ‘the essence of life’ – is the journey of change.

INFO: The exhibition opens on Wed 30 April at 6pm and will run until Sat 3 May. Entry is free. Opening hours: 10am-6pm Thurs 1 May, 12pm-6pm  Fri 2 May and 10am-4pm Sat 3 May; AaQool Atrium, Second Floor, Qatar Foundation Recreation Centre in Education City (enter Education City through Gate Two and follow the temporary road signage to the Recreation Centre), www.facebook.com/InternationalArtistsDoha, iadqatar@gmail.com