Growing up surrounded by natural wonders in the Belarusian capital Minsk, Ina’s artworks were inspired by the lovely hues of her hometown. She got her skills from her watercolourist great grandfather whose artworks were exhibited (1916-1936) in Ukraine during his time.
Though Ina loves to draw and paint, as a child she also danced well and dreamt of becoming a ballerina or a figure skater on ice.
A long-time resident of Qatar, Ina is grateful that she was able to practice and enhance her painting skills through the exhibitions and competitions that various art groups in the country have organized.
Let’s check out her artwork and get to know a little more about her in this interview!
Ina: I was born in 1979 in Minsk, Belarus—a country of blue skies, lovely white clouds, rivers and lakes, vast greens, and primeval forests. Growing up, I tried to transform what I see around me into art. I love the beach, the sand, and the sunrise.
In 2007, a job opportunity for my husband brought us to Qatar. For the last 15 years, I witnessed how our second home has changed at a rapid pace. I've learned and embraced its culture and traditions, fell in love with its beauty, and all these while I balance family life and my passion for painting.
Ina: I discovered my skill at a very young age. I clearly recall how I would draw and paint every day and gift my artwork to friends and family. In my country where painting and the arts are taught and taken very seriously, I have completed a Fine Arts course with excellent marks. I also took several art workshops using different mediums which helped enhance my skills.
Ina: Art for me reflects feelings, desires, and aspirations – emotions transferred to a canvas for people to see, and sometimes touch. It’s a piece that connects people, something that will make one look, think, and understand.
Ina: For many years I have not taken a brush in my hand because I focused more on raising my children. So, I would say that my artistic journey only officially started three years ago when I did camel and sand dune artwork for caravans of a family friend who owned a traditional Qatari restaurant. This project paved the way for me to further my passion for drawing and painting.
With the aim to practice and develop my skills, I joined various art groups like the Doha Art Hub, and exhibitions and competitions like those organized by Qatar International Arts Festival. I’m with a group that holds art exhibitions at North Sedra Farm Museum. I also conduct art workshops and classes for children here in Qatar.
Ina: The most recent competition I participated in was the 2022 Katara International Arabian Horse Festival held last February. This event meant a lot to me, especially since I won the third-place award. It’s my first time participating in such a competition where you paint a leather horse saddle.
I have also participated in the Qatar International Art Festival (QIAF) 2021 held in October. I am grateful that there are events like these where amateur artists are given the chance to explore their capabilities and at the same time connect with other artists and contribute to Qatar’s art programmes.
Ina: I’ve witnessed the increased interest of the country and the different communities in arts. Ministries and various organizations are continually staging significant cultural events, exhibitions, festivals, and seminars. The opening of art galleries and centers in addition to the world-class museums is truly remarkable.
The diverse art activities in Doha have given many artists a chance to showcase their work and talent. And with the media covering such events and sharing information, helps emerging artists to be known.
Ina: Art is a part of me, part of my identity. My courage to practice my vocation as an artist is already an achievement for me. The idea to make this world brighter and more colorful makes me happy. Also, I love how the power of creativity unites people and the community.
Ina: I am currently working with a mixed media art group called Plastic Arts Group Qatar where we create artwork out of different creative mediums, including plastics and other recyclable materials that is due to be exhibited soon. I am working on this project using empty firearm cartridges from the shooting range in Lusail.
I also paint during Ramadan evening meetings at the Center Rassem for Creativity. This coming October, I look forward to participating again in the QIAF exhibition.
Ina: For now, I just want to explore my art using different mediums and gain more experience through participating in various art exhibitions and competitions. And, of course, to share my skills with children through workshops and master classes that I plan to organize.
Ina: Explore! Dream and act! Don’t be afraid to spoil the canvas! :)
Ina: Appreciate nature! Preserve your traditions and culture, but also embrace the new. Respect your host country. Pay attention to sports and keep a healthy body and mind. Stay cheerful and welcoming. Be brave to follow your dream whatever age you may be. All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.
Cover image credit: Ina Dzikusar
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