Muscat: For the past 10 years, Suad Al Aufy has been assembling pieces of tile, stones, shells, glass, beads and other bits and pieces to create vibrant mosaics and tonight at Gallery Sarah she will show them to the public for the first time.
Though she studied Information Technology in university, Suad has always been an artist at heart. As a child her favourite subject was art, and she was always interested in painting, pottery and calligraphy.
In 2004, when a mosaic workshop was offered at Bait Muzna Gallery, she signed up and was
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"I just fell in love with mosaics. I could do so many things with it. There's an infinite number of colours and materials. There's a three-dimensional effect I can get with it. There's a freedom that I find very satisfying," she told Times of Oman as the pieces were being hung in the gallery in Old Muscat on Sunday morning. Whether it's a butterfly made with a fossil body and tiny little seashells collected by her son at nearby beach, or tiles and gold leaf arranged to capture the windswept dunes in the Wahiba Sands, Suad's work reflects not only her modern, creative approach to mosaic work, but also reveals her love of nature and her Omani roots.
Details of a flower, colours from traditional Omani women's clothes, or the iridescent beauty of a jellyfish on the beach all translate into carefully assembled mosaic work. A few old British coins find their way into her work, as do crystals and other semiprecious stones, ceramic pieces and even sand. The possibilities seem endless to Suad, and new materials and inspirations abound.
Traditionally mosaics were created to decorate the walls, floors and doorways of temples, churches, villas and other buildings, with some of the earliest examples dating back to 2500 BC in Mesopotamia.
Though the roots of the craft are in interior design, and the mosaics were often mural or carpet-sized in scale, Suad keeps her work smaller and most of it can be hung on a wall or displayed on a shelf.
Suad's work is unique in Oman, and after dedicating so much time to it, the artist is thrilled to have the chance to show it publicly, thanks to a request from Farah Asqul, manager of Gallery Sarah, who likes promoting emerging artists and those whose work is different and innovative.
The exhibition will be on display at Gallery Sarah until June 5.
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