MUSCAT: On Saturday, June 13 City Seasons Hotel Muscat was packed with over 400 art enthusiasts, all aiming to glimpse pieces of art produced at the Gailani Art Retreat over the past season of one year tiled ‘Voices from Within’.

The visitors were enthralled by something unique in the form of an art exhibition that made a visual statement – there were moving lights, performance art with morphed dancers, and curated stories of emotions rather than art technique.

“It was never meant to be about the art, ‘Voices from Within’ Art Exhibition was a statement about life-journeys, about perseverance, and human spirit and the courage of participants to display those stores open to all. Tonight, the participants of the Gailani Art Retreat are the real stars; stars that shine brighter and are layered with more beautiful colours that the art in this room it is about,” said Ibrahim Gailani, founder of the Art Retreat and curator of the show. The event featured 65 paintings that were carefully selected over the past one-year’s work and featured a mix of established artists and first-timers.

Each painting was curated in detail by Gailani giving the viewers insight on the profession background of each artist, the number of times they have attended the art retreat, and the topic/theme to which the painting was interpreted and the ‘artist statement’ capturing the sentiments they were going through while creating the piece.

“Getting the curation right was the key to making this art exhibition a success. We wanted the audience to feel as if they were there at the retreat during the creation of that piece. It was important that a personal connection was made between the viewer and the artist, because that’s the essence of the retreat,” said Huma, wife of Gailani, and the manager of the Gailani Art Retreats.

She added, “I’m so glad that everyone has paused and read the write-ups in detail, in fact we’ve had people take pictures of the curated placards and post them on social media right here form the show.”

The other twist that the show had was that instead of one guest of honour or the chief guest, those who were invited on stage to cut the ribbon were all the different participants and artists who had attended the art retreat in the past season.

“It’s like a gathering of old friends, seeing their paintings, and their stories of what they visualized during the painting process. It’s incredible to see them all come together under one roof. I wouldn’t have missed it for the world and changed my flight plan to Sweden to attend this,” said Viki Padersaon a Swedish art retreat participant who had attended over ten art retreats.

SOURCE: Muscat Daily