Arab News

NO. 357
Friday, November 23, 2007


Reporter: Molouk Y Ba-Isa

Art For All Seasons

ALKHOBAR- Dr. Nada Farhat’s art exhibition “Merging of the Seasons” opened on Wednesday at Desert Designs on Dhahran Road. The public is invited to attend the show through Nov. 27, including a special viewing this evening from 4 p.m. Farhat, who is currently living in Boston, has traveled to the Kingdom for the exhibition. Admirers of her work were delighted to meet with her at Desert Designs and hear her discuss the inspiration behind her new show.

“The exhibition focuses on the merging of cultures and climates. Since I began living in Boston earlier this year, I can’t seem to decide where is home,” explained Farhat. “It’s a little bit here and a little bit there. Instead of debating where I like the most and what I like the most I’ve just joined them together.”

She continued, “I’m am not going to do away with my love for my culture and my roots in the Middle East. At the same time I am practically overwhelmed with the beauty oF New England. I started to create this collection in January 2007 and now it’s November. So I saw New England’s brutal winter, then April and May with beautiful tulips and flowers in the Boston Commons and now here we are at the end of the fall, which New England is characterized by the tree leaves changing to red and gold. Its’ life’s full circle.”

Farhat’s new work incorporates considerable amounts of organic material. She hand made the paper used in some paintings, and leaves, gold threads, bark and glass fused into her work to physically show the coming together of different worlds and different media. Farhat believes that the death of her father and her recent marriage has added maturity to her art.

“ I can see that my lines are more controlled now when I draw and this has brought a foundation of stability into my work,” Farhat remarked. “I am more focused now. There still is a lot of searching in my life though. That is shown in the elements of transparency in my art as a way of emphasizing that I am looking for what is still ahead.”
What may be ahead for Farhat is the possibility of bringing an art therapy program to the Kingdom. She believes this will be the perfect combination of her talents as both a physician and artist. “The Middle East is ready to embrace complementary therapies,” Farhat asserted. “Art therapy is still relatively new in the United States but there is now the American Academy of Art Therapy which offers licensing. I thought that bringing art therapy back to the Middle East would provide new opportunities for learning, development and treatment. Through art therapy, expression can take place in a non-verbal way. Whether you are dealing with special needs children or individuals who are facing a devastating illness, art therapy can provide a means for them to release their inner anxiety and other feelings that are difficult to express in words. So it aids in healing.”

Farhat is also optimistic that in some small way, her art is helping to heal and strengthen the relationship between Americans and Saudis. “In the United States, I’m getting recognized for my work being a hybrid between medicine and art, and also because myself and my art are reflections of Saudi Arabia. Americans ask me questions not only about my art but also about the Kingdom. This nation is under a spotlight now and I hope I am a positive image of Saudi women.”