The 'Out of Kuwait' exhibition was the UK debut show of 13 emerging Kuwait artists who all work in a direct response to living in Kuwait and their work explores the Kuwait landscape in its broadest and most expansive sense. Through a wide variety of means these artists are excavating Kuwait’s social, economic and cultural identity, along with their own interpersonal relationship to the Kuwait’s very particular history.
This exciting young group of Kuwait artist’s utilised a broad range of traditional and contemporary materials and processes, which reflected their relationship to the historic and new technologies. These many ways of working were represented in the exhibition.
The exhibition was the culmination of a large group of Kuwait artists working with the British Council, The Royal College of Art and Kuwait’s Contemporary Art Platform over a year through a series of residency seminars and presentations organised by Alia Farid Abdal, a graduate from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Professor David Rayson, Head of Painting at the Royal College of Art, supported by Freya-Douglas Morris, Emanuel Rohss, and Laura Fitzgerald three Masters Degree students from the Painting programme.
During the residency there were organised visits to sites around Kuwait, with the whole party visited key places unique to the landscape and social make up of Kuwait. These excursions included visits to the desert, the Kuwait City souks, the fishing harbour, the Hamra Tower, shopping malls, Kuwait University, and meetings with artists in their studios. Interestingly it was also the spaces between these destinations, the highways, the rows of little hedges and groomed trees that line the roads, strings of water pipes, the pylons and power lines and strips of open desert between the building sites that generated discussions around these artist’s relationship to their physical, political, economic and psychological environment.
As many of the works in the exhibition show, for lots of these young artists it is also the landscape as remembered, the managed and the maintained present, and the projections of the future landscape.
The majority of these artists staged a dynamic exhibition together at the MOMA gallery in Kuwait in October 2012, and this exhibition with the support of the Edge of Arabia organisation was an exciting opportunity for these artists to exhibit out of Kuwait for the first time in the UK.
Mohammed Alkouh, Ahmad Alshammeri, Adel Ashkanani, Thuraya Lynn, Mona Al-Qanai, Nima Algooneh, Abdulaziz Alhumaidhi, Zahra Almahdi, Roa Alshaheen, Aseel Alyaqoub, Amani Althuwaini, Mohammed Sharaf, Muneera Alsharhan.
Edge of Arabia
40 Elcho street