Sunday, 23 September 2018

The artwork on the panel and on target with the title heavy teeny tiny



Peace starts with an absence of hate and prejudice


Peace is not simply an absence of war,
an absence of violence. It’s something more.
Not just arms down but arms open in love
for the stranger and the neighbour next door.

Peace breaks out when love labours to be blind
to our differences, and tries to be kind
even when angered it does not give up.
And it starts with an open heart and mind.




Confluence in the Arabic Press - here in Al Ayam, 
one of the largest circulating local newspapers.
Well, Confluence is over, the photos have been clicked and the reviews are in and it was all a great success. Footfall exceeding expectations, wide coverage in the local press and much feel-good vibes. The variety and breadth of artworks were mind boggling - watercolours, acrylics, photos, pen-n-ink, mixed media, even a couple of installations, one of them an interactive one, and words, words, words in long poems and short. There were artists and poets there from Australia, Bahrain, Britain, Canada, Germany, India and Pakistan. And the age range varied from 12 years to 70+ - we at the Bahrain Writers' Circle are a diverse crowd.


Confluence in the Gulf Daily News - the oldest English language 
paper in Bahrain.

I was there with my Bahraini art-partner, Herz Al Banki, an award winning photographer-artist. We had four artworks up for this exhibition, his photographs used as prompts and then combined with my poems.  Thank you, Herz!  Here is our collaborative art on display at Harbour Gate.

Photographs : Herz al Banki Poetry: moi

Viewers at Confluence
I was quite sure initially that people would only look at the images and ignore the poetry - I mean, who reads poetry at an exhibition, right? But I stand corrected. And pleasantly surprised. Both the Chief Guest and the CEO of the Bahrain Financial Harbour read my 'art' too and commented on the poems. I saw other viewers take time to read as well. I got some positive reviews on the verses, so came away feeling chuffed. Herz and I were told, more than once, that we make a good artistic team - not exactly the most terrible thing to get inside my ears this entire year. 


Visitors at the exhibition.




Visitor reading the artworks. 

One of the writers, who volunteers with a local school for children with special needs, brought in the poems from a school-group to the exhibition and the children had their own panel where they depicted their take on 'Peace' for the International Peace Day on the 21st. They inspired my rubais up there for this post. 

Peace panel. Artists and poets - children of RIA Institute.
The exhibition included an interactive piece - an oil colour of a girl in pink ballet shoes and an invitation to visitors to add a line or two to take forward a poem about the artwork. Here's the installation at the beginning of the exhibition.


Interactive poetry panel for visitors. Artist :Sarah Madan.
The organisers are already planning a bigger event next year based on the success of this one. And guess who's going to go jump back in there? Yup, that's me. 

~~~

'Go someplace new and/or try something new' has been my unchanging, rolling New Year resolution for decades now. However difficult 2018 turns out to be, I can safely say I'm on target with the res. Phew! Also bang on target with the title-heavy teeny-tiny too. And you know what? Tomorrow is the 7th birthday of this 'ere blog - didn't see even a glimmer of all this happening seven years ago.  The level of relieved/smug/jubilant/grateful here is probably illegal, but I'm running with it anyways :)  










20 comments:

  1. Wonderful, wonderful news. Unsurprising to me, but no less wonderful for all that.
    And oh, if more of us could keep open eyes, hearts, minds and arms, what a change we would see...
    And a very happy blogoversary to you.

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    1. Thank you, EC!

      Pettiness and prejudice are the worst barriers to peace, imho.

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  2. Art (words, images, etc) truly opens hearts and brings peace. Congrats on 7 years, on achieving your New Year resolution (so far), and for your wonderful poetry. Yes, folks will read and love your words. They are too beautiful to ignore. Bask a bit in the glow of the symposium. Then continue to write and share. Glorious joy!

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    1. Art is a respite from all the rubbish that's going on preventing true peace from taking hold. Thanks, Joanne.

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  3. Love every word. Thanks Nilanjana.

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  4. Hari Om
    how wonderful... and your poem above a true delight! YAM xx (the one-handed...sigh...)

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    1. Thanks, Yamini. I know how tiresome and painful that is, wish you two handed soonest.

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  5. That's awesome your poems with his photo were such hits.
    I wonder what poem was created to go with that painting?

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    1. The poem turned out a medley of micro poetry, each response was one or two lines, fascinating really the different takes on the picture. Thank you, Alex!

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  6. Hi Nila - that's great you are able to work with Herz - that teammanship must mean loads to you both ... and you get exposure for your words No wonder you were chuffed. Loved seeing your posts and photos - and then the poetry too ...

    Congratulations on 7 years of blogging ... it's a long old haul isn't it - but amongst a great mix of blogging friends - here's to many more ... cheers Hilary

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    1. Thanks, Hilary! Herz is a delight to work with. Totally awesome the whole experience.

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  7. Congratulations on 7 years of blogging, success with your resolutions and the exhibit!

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  8. Wow! That exhibition looks so good! Amazing news about your poetry too!

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    1. Thank you, indeed it was an amazing experience.

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  9. Well! Congratulations on all the good stuff going on with you here, including your blogoversary!

    I totally agree that peace is more than just the absence of war and violence. That kind of "peace" can often mean that the combatants are just taking a breather before they resume killing each other all over again.

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    1. Thank you, David! True peace starts from inside and seems to be super elusive right now.

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  10. Wow! That's a pretty impressive display and some excellent exposure for your work.

    Congratulations on the blog. You just reminded me that this is about the time I started my blog 9 years ago.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

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    Replies
    1. It was indeed a great experience - in terms of the exposure and learning both. Thank you for coming by.

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