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Migration toward Utopia - Dr AL.Baiti Mona Exhibition - Oman

Painting journey through lifetime

Article by Sarah MacDonald in Oman times

June 11, 2012




Muscat: Journeys, both physical and spiritual, are the subject of a beautiful new exhibition by Dr. Mona Mohamed Al Baiti which opened at Bait Al Baranda on Sunday. 

'Migration towards Utopia' is a collection of small canvases that come together in groups, somewhat like puzzles, and tell the story of Al Baiti's life, from the various countries she has called home, to memories of friends and the inner peace which she considers a perfect place.

"For me utopia is having spiritual balance and tranquillity,- Al Baiti said.

Finding her utopia has been a life-long journey to many countries and with many experiences, all of which are reflected in her work. The canvases are mixed-media collages that combine paint, pieces of paper with images and words, and gold foil. From a distance they look like richly-coloured abstract paintings, somewhat representative of maps, but upon closer inspection the words, in many different languages, and pictures become visible.

"Each word or picture represents a person I've known in my life. Each piece reminds me of a person and what place and what year I met them. It's like a key for me to remember my life,- 
Al Baiti explained. 

Dark lines outline the pictures and words or patches of colour, like streets and buildings, or borders around countries. The lines not only represent physical divisions, but also metaphysical ones, the artist explained.

"The lines represent the ruptures, the separation, the extremes of all I feel. They are images and memories and things I have lived in daily life, and things I have encountered in my life,- said Al Baiti.

Al Baiti said though the work is abstract, it still represents different places. Though she is Omani, Al Baiti was born in Kuwait, went to university in France, and also lived in Spain. 
She has also has exhibitions or given lectures in countries throughout Europe, the Middle and the Americas. 

"There are many journeys. It's the mainly the countries that I have lived in, France, Spain and Oman. But the rest are towns and villages I have visited and the different cultures that exist within those countries,- Al Baiti said.

Malik Al Hinai, director of Bait Al Baranda, said it was wonderful to show the work of such a fine Omani artist, and especially one whose work is unique. 

"Mona Al Baiti is a mature artist who really knows her work and is confident and it shows. It's unique, it stands out and you can see the quality. 

"Hopefully this will inspire others,- said Al Hinai.
The exhibition, which was opened by Hamed Hilal Al Maamary, undersecretary for the Ministry of Heritage and Culture, will hang until June 20.



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