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4March 2020 – 2 April 2020

The exhibition Resonance features newly commissioned works by Omani artists – Rawan AlMahrouqi, Safa Baluchi, Ruqaiya Mazar and Riham Noor Al Zadjali – and Finnish artist Elina Brotherus.

© Elina Brotherus, Arabian Landscape with a North European Woman Trying to Blend In (Tree), colour photograph, 2019


Opening reception 4 March, 6:30pm

Exhibition continues until 2 April

The exhibition Resonance features newly commissioned works by Omani artists – Rawan AlMahrouqi, Safa Baluchi, Ruqaiya Mazar and Riham Noor Al Zadjali – and Finnish artist Elina Brotherus.

Resonance brings together new works in photography, video and sculpture developed in response to a series of scores. The artists worked with very short instructions based on Fluxus event scores and other written instructions for performance-oriented art from the 1950s-70s as a starting point and an external prompt. The scores included works by VALIE EXPORT, Yoko Ono and Mieko Shiomi, as well as instructions compiled in List of Art Ideas for 1st Class of CalArts, Post Studio (If They Have No Ideas of Their Own from which to Make a Piece), 1970, by the American artist and professor John Baldessari who passed away in January this year.

Resonance, developed in partnership with Stal Gallery, Muscat, Oman, and supported by the British Council through the UK-Gulf exhibition programme, included an eight-month programme of production, mentoring and exchange that culminated in a two-week production residency in the rural landscapes of central and coastal Oman in December 2019.

The exhibition is accompanied by a day of conversations focusing on the personal within artistic practice on Thursday 5 March from 3pm at Stal Gallery. The artists will discuss the works within the exhibition and look at how these pieces are an expression of resonance between their lived experience and their practice as visual artists. The day will conclude with a screening of films by artists Mairéad McClean, Shona Illingworth and Andrea Luka Zimmerman, who were recently commissioned by The Wapping Project to produce new works.

The latest publication by The Wapping Project – Resonance 2 – will be launched during the opening reception. Resonance 2 features new writing by Jen Calleja, Saara Turunen and Jokha Alharthi, in English, Finnish and Arabic with translations by Marilyn Booth, Maria Pakkala, Daisy Vaughan and Owen F. Witesman, alongside images by the five exhibiting artists.


Notes to Editors:

For further information and images please contact:

About the Artists

Rawan AlMahrouqi graduated from Sultan Qaboos University Muscat. Rawan multidisciplinary practice focuses on the female experience in the Arabian Gulf, the double standards, the thin line between tradition and religion. She draws most of her inspiration from her Khaleeji (Arabian Gulf) culture and the experiences she has had growing up and living in the region. She won the Young Emerging Artist Prize (YEAP) run by Stal Gallery, Muscat, Oman, in 2015. Her work was featured in the Arte documentary Women in Islam. In 2018, Rawan, together with her sisters, founded Makan Studios art school, the first of its kind, offering arts classes to adults and children in Muscat.

Image credit: ©Rawan AlMahrouqi, Me And My Scarf, 2020, b&w photographs

Safa Baluchi graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Spatial Design from the University of Nizwa. She works across performance, video, photography and installation. Her work, which draws on her personal experience, explores questions around the relationship between the individual and the society. Depression, entrapment and erosion are recurring themes in her work. She won the Young Emerging Artist Prize (YEAP) run by Stal Gallery, Muscat, Oman, in 2015 and participated in a number of exhibitions at the gallery. In 2018, she curated Disfiguration exhibition at Stal Gallery.

Image credit: ©Safa Baluchi, Washing the Rocks, 2019

Ruqaiya Mazar graduated from the University of Nizwa in central Oman. Ruqaiya works across drawing, photography, video and digital arts. In her practice, she draws on her experience as an artist living and working within the Arab culture. He works ask questions about search for balance in human existence, struggle between light and darkness, shadows lurking in the depths of oneself, dreams and failure. Her work was shown in Oman and Saudi Arabia. She was shortlisted for the Young Emerging Artist Prize (YEAP) run by Stal Gallery, Muscat, Oman, in 2015 and participated in a number of exhibitions at the gallery.

Image credit: ©Ruqaiya Mazar, Old clothes (disguise yourself as an object), 2020, b&w photograph

Riham Noor Al Zadjali graduated with BA in Fine Arts from Paris American Academy. In her work, Riham poses question about the most current global events including conflicts, military interventions, displacement and migration. Her work has been shown widely in Oman. She was shortlisted for the Young Emerging Artist Prize (YEAP) run by Stal Gallery, Muscat, Oman, in 2015. She cofounded the initiative Art with Refugee, a traveling exhibition of artworks by refugees and artists from around the world in support of better living conditions for refugees mostly in Greece. The exhibition was shown in Piraeus, Greece, Children’s Museum of Wilmington, North Carolina, USA, the Human (Art)istic Festival in Brussels, Belgium, as well as in Spain and Oman.

Image credit: © Riham Noor Al Zadjali, They will welcome us with flowers, 2019, collage

Elina Brotherus works in photography and moving image. Her work has been alternating between autobiographical and art-historical approaches. Photographs dealing with the human figure and the landscape, the relation of the artist and the model, gave way to images on subjective experiences in her recent bodies of work Annonciation and Carpe Fucking Diem. In her current work she is revisiting Fluxus event scores and other written instructions for performance-oriented art of the 1950s-70s. Another ongoing interest is photographing in iconic houses by architects like Alvar Aalto, Hundertwasser and Michel Polak. Brotherus takes roles of various imagined characters, thus bringing a tranquil human presence to the spaces. Elina has been exhibiting widely since 1997 and her work is represented in major public collections including the Centre Pompidou, Paris, Moderna Museet, Stockholm, MAXXI, Rome, Fondacion ARCO, Madrid, Hasselblad Center, Gothenburg, Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki, Musée de l’Elysée, Lausanne, and Museum Folkwang, Essen, to name a few.

Image credit: © Elina Brotherus , Measuring Wind Speed (Jabal), 2019, colour photograph

About The Wapping Project

The Wapping Project is a platform for the continuous development of ideas, thoughts and people. It is our investment in, and enthusiasm for, the artists that we commission that forms the backbone of the artistic programme. The Wapping Project questions and aims to redefine accepted boundaries through commissioning, nurturing and championing artistic talent. We exist to enable artists to work with unrestrained ambition.

The Wapping Project is the creation of the Women’s Playhouse Trust (WPT), which was set up in 1981. Over the years, WPT launched careers for many writers, poets, choreographers, composers, visual artists, filmmakers and photographers. In 2000, WPT launched The Wapping Project and for 13 years worked at the iconic Wapping Hydraulic Power Station where many acclaimed works have been exhibited including Richard Wilson’s BUTTERFLY (2003), Zineb Sedira's MIDDLESEA (2008), and MADE, UNMADE (2013) by Julie Brook. Since 2013, WPT works through commissioning new artworks in partnerships with UK and international organisations. Recent and current projects include a feature length documentary ERASE AND FORGET by Andrea Luka Zimmerman, which premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival in 2017, a body of film works MAKING HER MARK by Mairéad McClean, which were exhibited at Taigh Chearsabhagh Museum and Arts Centre, Outer Hebrides, Scotland in 2018, an artist film A LINE WAS DRAWN by Mairéad McClean, which premiered at the BFI London Film Festival in 2019, a multichannel video and sound installation TOPOLOGIES OF AIR by Shona Illingworth, which will be exhibited at the Bahrain National Museum in 2020 and The Power Plant, Toronto, in 2021, and THE EARTH AND HER CROWNS music album by composer and performer Laura Cannell, which will be released in 2020.

About Stal Gallery

Stal Gallery is committed to promoting new work and supporting the development of artists while simultaneously affirming and challenging the appreciation and understanding of contemporary visual arts in Oman. The gallery develops projects in collaboration with artists and is also the site for artistic production within its dedicated residential artist studio. Integral to all aspects of the Gallery programming is an extensive offering of educational activities for audiences all ages. Stal Gallery supports cross-cultural exhibition projects, with exchange opportunities for students, professionals, artists, and researchers from around the globe. Since 2015, the gallery offers opportunities to young Omani artists through the Young Emerging Artist Prize (YEAP). YEAP is an annual development, mentoring and exhibition program for Omani artists aged between 18 and 35 supporting their creative careers.

About the UK-Gulf Exhibition Programme

The UK-Gulf exhibition programme was set up by the UK government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) and the British Council in 2017. The £1 million fund supports UK museums and cultural institutions who want to collaborate with new partners in the Gulf in order to share the most exciting UK arts and culture exhibitions with audiences in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, and Bahrain. Through this programme the British Council is supporting the following collaborations between UK institutions in London and Inverness with Gulf institutions in Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Dubai, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia and Sharjah. International exhibitions provide a great opportunity for learning and cultural exchange, and each exhibition will be accompanied by an education and outreach programme that will benefit students, artists and the interested public. This project also aims to create new connections between the museum sector in the UK and the Gulf, in order to support the continued exchange of arts, culture and heritage exhibitions between the UK and Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, and Bahrain.

About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We work with over 100 countries in the fields of arts and culture, English language, education and civil society. Last year we reached over 80 million people directly and 791 million people overall including online, broadcasts and publications. We make a positive contribution to the countries we work with – changing lives by creating opportunities, building connections and engendering trust. Founded in 1934 we are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter and a UK public body. We receive a 15 per cent core funding grant from the UK government.

About the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) helps to drive growth, enrich lives and promote Britain abroad. We protect and promote our cultural and artistic heritage and help businesses and communities to grow by investing in innovation and highlighting Britain as a fantastic place to visit. We help to give the UK a unique advantage on the global stage, striving for economic success. DCMS is a ministerial department, supported by 43 agencies and public bodies.


Save the date for the opening of the exhibition Resonance on 4 March @StalGallery, featuring new works by @ruqaiyabaluchi @Rawan757@safabaluchi @RihamNoor and @ElinaBrotherus commissioned by The Wapping Project.  Part of the British Council UK-Gulf Exhibition Programme. @BritishArts @britishcounciloman #rawanalmahrouqi #safabaluchi #ruqaiyamazar #rihamnoor #elinabrotherus #omaniartist #arabartist #arabwomenartist #thewappingproject #stalgalleryexhibition

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