Alyaum Newspaper

NO. 11310-V . 40
June 2, 2004

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Reporter: Ahmed Samaha

In a visual experience, contemporary artist Nada Farhat defers from the usual in an attempt to pioneer in the arts: works that transcend the picturesque boundaries to become artistic forms scattered within space

 A hot air balloon flies above the main street leading to Idrak gallery. With light beams flashing into the sky, a sense of excitement fills the air as visitors walk towards the entrance. The gallery space is ornamented with Nada Farhat’s paintings set between various pieces of furniture creating a warm, hospitable ambiance.

From a new perspective, Nada creates a vision this region of the Kingdom has never viewed before. As the artwork is displayed through installations, the gallery space in itself becomes a sculptural expression. A sense of warmth and intimacy came upon me while I viewed Nada’s pieces. To my surprise, I almost forgot that I was in an art show!

Numerous art pieces were released from the shackles of routine. Rather than displayed on a wall, various pieces were installed in cabinets and shelves in groups creating small families within a community.

A new question arises: Did the artist intend to create ambiguity in viewing her pieces to balance the efforts of her creations? Variations in texture and dimensions vary form piece to piece through out the collection. Some require concentration in viewing the intricate details that fill areas of some of the paintings. While some pieces pulls the viewer to explore surfaces and technique. Others push the viewer to be viewed from a distance.

A long journey is traveled with in the gallery space. As you experience this journey, Nada becomes a helping hand as she explains her thoughts and ideology behind each piece.

Techniques and methodology of the artist:
Although there are numerous artworks, there is unity throughout. This unity is reflected through the lines and color palate used. The techniques Nada uses as well as the mixed media materials as glass, wood and canvas all help to create the hospitable ambiance the artist intended to create. It maybe that she was successful. However, viewers in general are overwhelmed. Nada’s effort to show her work with in a bundle of library books or a pile of sand is beautiful and relaxing. 

On these bases, it becomes difficult to critique such an artist who has pioneered in methods of installation of art pieces not seen before. It may be possible to view her work and appreciate the dimensions of her effort. However, criticism finds no place.

There is not much one can do when faced with Nada’s courage and bravery in painting except for showing appreciation. Especially that she is part of a society that has not yet encountered the values of art as a visual expression. Since art is merely not only a piece of furniture or a color of a fabric rather it is a language that speaks visual words that reflect society and culture.

In contrast to Nada’s previous exhibitions, this collection reflects the development of articulate skill and immense creativity. The elegance of her color palate is what gives her work a unique signature. Nada celebrates her culture and diversity in each of her paintings.

As viewers and critics, we try to further our understanding of what Nada intends to revive, create or discover. I invite all critiques to participate in the research launched to enhance the further understanding of this artist’s creative mind. Nada is a window of opportunity for us to know what the future holds in the world of contemporary art. For us new to this form of artistry, help was needed to help set the standards for evaluations of future artists that may follow the steps of pioneer artists as Nada Farhat. However, the power of attraction and gravity of viewers towards particular pieces helps us pen point clues and answers revealed within brush strokes the artist may have revealed consciously or subconsciously.

Nada’s work seems to evolve more toward abstraction with each collection. She relies on her reservoir of knowledge and spontaneity. She is a free spirit and will continue to surprise us with her future collections.