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Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Spectacular opening of ‘Traditional Oman’ by David Willis at Bait Al Baranda,Muscat

There are exhibitions and then there are some 'very' special exhibitions. 

What we saw last evening is one that I would categorize as a 'very' special exhibition. Titled 'Traditional Oman' and featuring the traditional riding displays, markets, the seafaring tradition and maritime tradition as well as the beautiful people of the country.Painted by Australian artist David Willis, the exhibition truly embodies the spirit of the very best that Oman has to offer.

There is a very interesting story about David Willis himself.He first visited Oman in 1979 and fell in love with the country as well as the variety of interesting subjects to paint. A decision was taken to make it his home and he is here since 1986.This is his third painting exhibition in Muscat and one in which all those involved have walked the extra mile to make it a spectacular and very memorable one.

As we approached Bait Al Baranda, the venue, we heard some beautiful music, and what sounded like many feet rhythmically moving about in joyous unison. Sure as sure, as we approached closer, we were treated to some wonderful dance displays by a group from the interior of Oman who were clearly enjoying the beat as well as the opportunity to showcase their skills in front of an extremely fascinated audience! 

Swinging to the beat and how!

Exhibition inaugurated, we walked into a revamped and very stylish looking Bait Al Baranda which is hosting the first event of this season.  The Director of  Bait Al Baranda, Malik Al Hinai  and his team have worked very hard and ensured that everything on display  was 'just so' and the effort has paid off very well indeed.

Looking around, I spotted a beautiful painting. It's set in a room where the village chieftain  and his council are debating -they look so real that I could actually imagine their conversation. 

Then there are some stunning paintings where the dhows are  sailing  in turbulent waters and many others with beautifully detailed, realistic horses and camels which look almost as if they will step out of the frame -that could well be one's wildest fantasies coming true.

The rich maritime tradition of Oman

They look so real!

Traditional Oman- the Entrance to the exhibition

Exiting the venue-They were still dancing

This exhibition at Bait Al Baranda will run for ten days, starting yesterday, November 4. It has a total of 32 paintings which includes a few that the artist has  requisitioned from some of his friends in Oman to whom he had sold them earlier. The Guest of Honour was HH Sayyid Harib bin Thuwaini Al Said, Secretary General of the Ministerial Council for Conferences and it was attended by some of the most well known faces in art and culture in Oman. 

This is one exhibition that I will remember  for a very long time....


Ravish Mani said...

Loved the Pics - Very Beautiful & eloquent.

Shweta Dave said...

I haven't ever visited something like this, looks very unique.

Sunaina Serna Ahluwalia said...

Thank You Rabvish and Shweta- it was a very unique exhibition, and some fabulous work.

Saihah Shamoon said...

Great blog created by you.Thanks a lot for sharing
Omani painter

mozart said...

I was fortunate enough to come upon one of David Willis paintings at auction.The painting in his own words is"it is one of my favorites" In his interview at the opening of his show,he spoke of the men after they were tied together were then mounted on a mule and taken to market.
The work was done as a gift to friends,and all the correspondence between him and his friend are attached to the work.It is sized at 26"x 20" and is available to any person who is interested.Anyone interested can contact me through this article,and while this is a beautiful work that I hate to give up I do have to remember that it was purchased as an investment piece.So let me know if your ready to own one of Davids works.