30 local and international art exhibitions. 9 awards. 3 culture festivals. 4 Video art festivals. These are just some of the achievements of Qatari artist Amal Al-Aathem. Her art is symbolic and often it depicts women, their spirit and their dilemmas. She has her own artistic identity and it is visible in each of her paintings, installations and sculptures. All her art is thought-provoking delving deep within the realms of the soul.
Amal practices a modern style of art; she used different materials and approaches to depict the identity of women in the Arab and Gulf region. (Women of Qatar)
In an interview with Women of Qatar, she talked about the importance of art in society:
"Art is an important part of any society. It serves as a mirror that reflects all society corners to the world, preserves its history in a beautiful and transparent framework, and gives us a glimpse of the world’s history and other cultures. Most importantly, art is a way of life, as it helps to purify the soul, and could be a platform and a strong voice for the artist and society when words fail to express their feelings. Without art, colors, life, spirit, and all meanings of luxury and education disappear from society. All types of art are a part and parcel of society; they represent it in the most beautiful ways."
In an Op-Ed for the Qatar Career Development Center (QCDC), she talked about how her art is who she is:
"I love that my artwork resembles me and that it is closely linked to my personality and the messages that I want to convey. I appreciate that people recognize my work even without a signature, and that they are accepting of my work, which is a deep reflection of my thoughts.”
On her website, she said:
"My paintings embody my objective to express myself, my thoughts, and my burdens as a woman and human. Despite humanity’s common destiny, women's questions remain hidden behind thick curtains of speech about avoidance and weakness - which has only inspired me further to use my colours and pieces of myself that such speech has shattered. In the paintings, I try to show the depth of the harm and a new completed image of the woman and human being that I am.”
Ever since she was a child, Amal has liked to master whatever she starts, and art is one of of those things. Her artistic endeavours started when she was a child and was encouraged by her parents. She practised her art everyday because once she set her mind up to do something, she did it with focus and efficiently, and soon it became a huge part of who she is. She was a shy child while growing up, and art helped her to express herself. She was able to talk about what she loved and what she didn't like through her art, especially when she couldn't find the words to express her thoughts. (Women of Qatar, All and About)
In 1989, Amal set about on her creative journey. Her first stop was the High Institute of Dramatic art in Kuwait. Later on, in 1995, she graduated from Qatar University with a Bachelor Degree in Arts Education. (Anima Gallery).
As her art continued to flourish and become more accepted in society, Amal's confidence grew she worked harder, attended different art workshops in different parts of the world so she could learn the different approached towards art.
When she worked as an art teacher, she continued to learn. She told Women of Qatar, in an interview:
"I learned courage and transparency from children; two essential parts of the artist’s work. If the artist does not have these qualities, his/her work will not be distinctive or a true reflection of their spirit."
As a prominent and proactive Qatari artist, Amal has contributed towards the development of art in Qatar and helped to bring more awareness to the importance of art in society. She is a:
The 7th Heaven Art Centre was launched in 2016 with the aim of providing courses that are both academic as well as entertaining. It's the first of its kind art institute in Qatar and offers over 11 different art genres so individuals can choose what they want to do and express themselves through any art medium they feel comfortable with. (All and About)
When asked by All and About, why she chose the name 7th Heaven, Amal explained that:
"The furthest sky is on the 7th heaven and provides the connotations of big ambitions, undefeatable dreams and the emotions one experiences after achieving an artistic piece of work which makes them feel extremely happy and over cloud 9."
Through all of these roles, she has helped to cultivate the world of art in Qatar and has become a prominent artist in local and international exhibitions.
Amal's first art exhibition was in Bahrain in 2000, and she has never looked back since as you can see from the numerous awards she has received from all around the world.
Amal also has a number of certificates and appreciation awards for participating in general educational exhibitions for the Ministry of Education and Higher Education, the Ministry of Culture and Sports, and the Ministry of Exterior and Interior, according to Amal Al-Aathem's website.
Want to know more about Amal and her art? Check out her website and social media pages:
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