Detail of steel barbed wire sculpture, Exile, by Majdulin Nasrallah
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Grey Times


This exhibition marks the end of Fire Station's annual Artist in Residence programme, undertaken this year during an exceptional moment in time due to the global outbreak of Covid-19 and its unprecedented impact.

Curated by Dr. Bahaa Abudaya and Saida Al Khulaifi

The initial plan for the residency programme was to focus on the relationship between visual arts and literature. However, the unexpected happened, and artists were forced to abandon their studios at the Fire Station – their intimate, creative spaces – to quarantine in their homes like everyone else.

The overwhelming shift compelled artists, as well as curators, to revisit the exhibition concept as they adapted to the urgently unfolding situation. Subject matter was reassessed, as well as the very nature of projects, due to limited accessibility to resources and supplies. The enforced confinement also prompted artists to delve inwards, leading to two major inquiries into the self and the other.

Realised in two sections, the exhibition showcases works created by 18 artists during this period of isolation as they explored concepts of identity and community, both of which are on uncertain ground in these ‘grey times’.

Download Exhibition Guide (PDF)

Artists from the exhibition share their experience of creating art during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the first section, resident artists look inwards, reevaluating their priorities, recalling happier times and memories, and raising individual concerns that are executed into spectacular pieces via various mediums that not only address these anxieties, but also prompt people to face themselves, their being and the withering and meaning of time.

A series of white mixed media objects by Naila Al-Thani called Materialised Formations, placed on a table with a black wall behind

Naila Al-Thani, Materialised Formations, 2020, Mixed media, variable dimensions. 

In the second section, artists present their findings based on observations made about others and their ever-changing surroundings. Light is shed on the relationships between identity, political issues, environmental awareness and technological developments culminating in unique works that question society at large and the individual’s attitudes and behaviours in juxtaposition with these difficult times.

The artists showcasing their works as part of the 2019-2020 Artist in Residence Programme are:

Aisha Al-Muhannadi, Ameera Al-Aji, Amena Al-Yousef, Ebtesam Al-Hothi, Hadeer Omar, Haytham Sharrouf, Hind Al Saad, Jaser Alagha, Latifa Al-Kuwari, Majdulin Nasrallah, Mariam Rafehi, Maryam Al-Maadhadhi, Mashael Al-Hejazi, Maysaa Almumin, Muna Al-Bader, Naila Al-Thani, Noor Yousef, Suzana Joumaa.

A still image taken from Hadeer Omar's Fragmented Realities video projection installed at Fire Station

Hadeer Omar, Fragmented Realities, 2020, Still from video projection with sound, 400 × 400 × 400 cm. 

A video still showing four people on a zoom call (two men and two women) from Aisha Al-Muhannadi's artwork Within 4 Walls at Fire Station, Doha

Aisha Al-Muhannadi, Within 4 Walls, 2020, Stills from video, 4 min.

A floor-based mixed media artwork called Statement 01 – On Remembering (House Number 10) by Ameera Al-Aji installed at Fire Station, Doha

Ameera Al-Aji, Statement 01 – On Remembering (House Number 10), 2020, Mixed media, 130 × 260 cm.  

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