Museum & Exhibit Design

LoudArt Finale in Bahrain 2016

Happy Saturday everyone! :) 

December last year, my work was chosen for the Loud Art collaborative exhibition in Khobar. I was very pleased to exhibit for the first time with a number of very talented artists in the Gulf and the Middle East. Since then, the exhibition has travelled to Jeddah/West of Saudi, Muscat/Oman and Bahrain. I couldn't make it to the first three since I was in London, but I made it to the last one in Bahrain. I really liked the gallery space and how the work was displayed. Here are some snaps of the gallery, my work and other beautiful art. Enjoy! :)

Sculpture by Faisal Ahmed

Sculpture by Faisal Ahmed

Malja Art Gallery in Bahrain - Loud Art 2016
Islamic Pattern in Malja Art Gallery

Islamic Pattern in Malja Art Gallery

my work mashallah! :D Islamic Patterns and Illuminations by Esra Alhamal

my work mashallah! :D Islamic Patterns and Illuminations by Esra Alhamal

Islamic Patterns and Tattoos

Islamic Patterns and Tattoos

Illustrations by Momad.ink

Illustrations by Momad.ink

Emtethal Al Awami

Emtethal Al Awami

Ali Al Sharji, Brilliant Mindz Photography 

Ali Al Sharji, Brilliant Mindz Photography 

Doors and Islamic Patterns by Khadija Kareem

Doors and Islamic Patterns by Khadija Kareem

Photos by Sara Foryame aka Frozenvanity

Photos by Sara Foryame aka Frozenvanity

Generalife Structure

Alhambra palace is full of beauty and wonders. I previously shared the structure, the carved patterns and the painted patterns. Today I will share the beautiful Alhambra garden, the Generalife. That on its own needs two posts. This one is about the structure in the garden and the next one is about the beautiful patterns and flowers I found there. 

The Generalife was built between the 12th and the 14th centuries (Alhambra-patronato, 2015). Some parts were built by the Muslims and others were added later on by the christians (Lovegranada,2015). The structure of the garden is unique because it is a mix of solid structure (terraces & resting areas) and fluid structures (fountains of many shapes and types).

It was a very nice place to visit and relax in. You can even get a separate ticket to only visit the gardens if you have already been to the Alhambra. Enjoy the photos below! 

Alhambra III, Painted Patterns

Happy Wednesday! 

As promised here is a whole post about the beautiful painted geometric patterns of Alhambra following the Alhambra I, Structure and the Alhambra II, Carved Patterns.

There are so many gorgeous pattern in Alhambra and it is said that there are 17 types of those wall-paper/flat patterns. What is special about those patterns is the elements that unite them such as repetition, reflection and transformation (Stewart,2014). Each pattern holds different meanings and techniques. There are many resources out there explaining them further. I will discuss a few in coming posts. For now, enjoy these photos! :) 

The order of these photos starts from what I saw first. 

Alhambra I, Structure

Alhambra Palace is the gem and highlight of Granada. Million visitors go there annually to admire the beauty of the architecture and the interior design. The name means red in Arabic and it is pronounced Alhamra without the B. It was used for the redness of the used materials.  The palace first started as a military area for it's unique location that was hard to get to in the 9th century (Alhambra.org, 2015). In the 13th century, King Mohammed ibn Yusuf ben Nasr turned it to his place of residency (Alhambra de Granada, 2015) . Some of the patterns in the Alhambra has his name carved in them. After the Christian takeover, Alhambra undergone few changes. It was abandoned in the 18th century . In the 19th century, it was considered as a heritage, protected site by the UNESCO. You can find more on the Alhambra history and details in the UNESCO website. 

It's so beautiful that one post is not enough to share all the things I saw, so there are few parts to this Alhambra post. I will start with the structure of the place. In the 14th century, three palaces were built: the Comares Palace, the Palace of the Lions, and the Partal Palace. The unique thing about Alhambra is the complex relationship between the structure and the interior space and how they intersect (Khan Academy,2015). More Architectural information and details could be found in the Khan Academy Website

After the first three photos, all the rest snaps are in the order of what I saw first.  

Resources: 
Alhambra.org,. 'Alhambra History'. N.p., 2015. Web. 7 Mar. 2015.
Alhambra de Granada,. 'Historical Introduction - History'. N.p., 2015. Web. 7 Mar. 2015.
Khan Academy,. 'Khan Academy'. N.p., 2015. Web. 7 Mar. 2015.

Beautiful Doors in Granada

Granada is such a beautiful city full of heritage and history. In my firs day there, I noticed so many gorgeous, unique doors. Each had a different styles and material. You can tell how diverse the city was and is becoming with the mix of the Islamic heritage, the Christine take over and the other art influences there. Enjoy this little slideshow of doors. Let me know which one is your favourite. The last one is mine. I just love the stone/wood combo and the flowers were a plus.  

Madrasah of Granada

Happy Friday everyone! 

The Spain series is back on. I was crazy busy with being back in London that I haven't had a chance to continue the series, but I am back to a proper schedule now! :) Let me tell you about that lovely school I saw in Granada on my first day and was blown away. The location was right in the centre beside the Granada Cathedral, as you can see in the first photo. The old Islamic school is now part of the Granada university as well. I didn't even know it was there until I passed by it and it was a happy coincidence. The inside is a restoration of a restoration. I think they did a great job brining the tradition of the patterns and the colours back to life. The last photo was a later addition after the Christians took over. You can see how distinctive each style is. It's a little place with a short tour that tells you the brief history of the place. The entrance fee was extremely cheap I think it was 2 or 4 euros. Worth a visit if you are in the area.  

Bait Al Baranda Museum

Hello everyone! 

This is the last post of the Muscat travel series -for now!- who knows I might go again and add more places, but until then I thought I could end the series on an arty note with reviewing this lovely little Omani museum, Bait Al Baranda. The name means the Veranda House.   

I found it by coincidence after a walk around the area of Souq Mutrah. It is a small museum located in a renovated house from the 1930s (Lonely Planet, 2015). It's two floors. The rooms were converted into exhibition spaces. The design is simple with basic glass cases and corner and floor displays. I liked the little figures reenacting the events in the glass cases.    

The museum is about the history of the region and Oman. It's about the past 750 million years with many archaeological elements, such as Dinosaur bones found in Oman. It's interesting if you want to know more about the area and how Oman came to be. 

Bait Al Baranda Museum

Total needed time was an hour with reading the info and taking the photos. If you are in the area, go check it out. Children might enjoy it. Although be aware it is not an interactive museum. It's mostly informative. They also host changing temporary exhibitions. Check their Facebook page to know their latest.   

Muscat Royal Opera House

Happy Thursday people! 

Another favourite spot in Muscat is the Royal Opera House . I love the architecture. It's traditional with the arches, yet it's contemporary with the simplicity of the locally sourced limestone and stucco finishes on the exterior. I loved the placement of the lights on the outside, which highlight the arches tastefully. The interior design of the ROH is very grand and full of beautiful details from carved arches to detailed ceilings and sparkling chandeliers. The over all space of the ROH is 200,000 SqM. It's three floors from what I remember and there are elevators. The ROH was designed by WATG.

Most shows and performances are around the Christmas and New Year holidays. They have a huge range from English to Arabic. The ROH is not only an opera house, but it also include shops, cafes and a number of temporary galleries and exhibitions. 

I was very lucky to attend an introductory show to the world of classical instruments and opera. *MashAllah* The presentation was both in Arabic and in English. The staff were very polite and professional. They really made me feel like a princess. Everyone was so dressed up. Men were either wearing the traditional Omani thoabs and hats or suite. Ladies were either in fancy abayas or long gowns. There were few Western ladies that were dressed in tiny cocktail dresses, but they looked out of place. 

Overall, It was such a joy to get to go there. *MashAllah*

Make sure you go there when you visit Muscat, even if just for a tour and there are daily morning ones, but you will have to call the ROH and double check. 

For more things to do in Muscat, please take a look at Ten Things To Do In Muscat