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Saturday, January 29, 2022

Qatari artist’s Arabic calligraphy finds new home on US streets


As a part of a public art initiative of the Qatar-US Year of Culture, a Qatari mural will be painted in Portland, Oregon. 

A Qatari mural will be installed on a building wall in Portland, Oregon as part of Qatar Year of Culture’s Jedarirat art initiative that takes Qatari artists and artwork to the US.

The initiative is part of Qatar-USA 2021 Year of Culture, an annual international cultural exchange between Qatar and a selected nation that is designed to deepen understanding and strengthen relations between nations, their people and their culture.

Qatari artist Fatima Al Sharshani will paint a new mural at Jedarirat’s first US location, in an attempt to activate urban areas to tell stories and add meaning to city walls.

The featured work, in partnership with the Portland Street Art Alliance (PSAA), is entitled ‘The Never Ending You’ and is an expression of continuity and infinity.

Al Sharshani’s specialises in calligraphy and has been working with the medium of art since 2011. She is also the founder of Qaif, a calligraphy company.

‘The Never Ending You’ is an abstract painting that blends Arabic letters into the shape of a circle, representing flow, continuity and a cycle. The inner depth of the circle represents the never-ending power that lives within us.

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The PSAA is the US iteration of Jedarirat, and was created to promote and develop street art culture and empower artists to utilise the spaces where they live and work.

Al Sharshani’s work will be a part of a larger programme to give life to building walls within the Central Eastside Industrial District and will be located alongside murals by local artists.

“We are so excited to continue the Jedarirat programme throughout the United States. By introducing talented Qatar-based artists like Fatima Al Sharshani to the US, we’re continuing to build the Years of Culture programme and create a mutual partnership and understanding between the US and Qatar cultures,” said Aisha Al Attiya, Head of QM’s Years of Culture.

Al Sharshani said she was proud and grateful for an opportunity to represent Qatar abroad for the 2021 Year of Culture through the beauty of Arabic calligraphy.

The Jedarirat programme was developed by Qatar Museums under the patronage of its Chairperson Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani in 2020. It aims to add vibrancy and meaning to Doha’s walls through art and murals.

The Year of Culture programme was first launched in 2012 with Qatar-Japan, followed by Qatar-UK 2013, Qatar-Brazil 2014, Qatar-Turkey 2015, Qatar-China 2016, Qatar-Germany 2017, Qatar-Russia 2018, Qatar-India 2019, and Qatar-France 2020.

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