Friday, 23 January 2015

Muscat Festival 2015: Tanzanian painter recreates the beauty of Zanzibar

They hail from the United Republic of Tanzania, but their works are as diverse as their country that comprises numerous ethnic, linguistic and religious groups. Fred Halla uses acrylic and canvas to send strong messages to the authorities to improve civic amenities, Salim Muchin recreates the beauty of Zanzibar, while Moosa Suleiman loves to depict the vibrant and striking appearance of animal kingdom.

One doesn't need to be an art wizard to enjoy their paintings on display at the international exhibition centre at the Muscat Festival venue in Amerat Park. Though the artists have given subtle touches to their works, the subjects are so familiar for people in any part of the world.

"I use the medium to urge authorities to improve civic amenities. It is quite natural for an artist to express anguish through his works," Fred points to one of his drawings that show people running helter skelter to board a city bus in Dar es Salaam. But being a versatile artist, he doesn't ignore the beauty of his country. "It took considerable time to finish the beautiful Tanzanian woman and her colourful clothing. Painting is my passion, and all my works have a story to tell," says Fred.

Hailing from Zanzibar, Salim Muchin's works shows the rich tradition of Zanzibar. Being a painter who pays close attention to detail, Salim has portrayed dhows of different size and shape, old streets and many landmarks from his province. His works also reveal Zanzibar's cultural links with the Sultanate of Oman. "Zanzibar has a rich cultural heritage. I travel to different parts of the region to understand the tradition and history. It gives me the inspiration and gives ideas. I am happy that people identify Oman's cultural links with Zanzibar through my works," says Salim.

When visitors step in to Moosa Suleiman's gallery, they feel as if they are entering into a zoo in Tanzania. All his 60 oil paintings on display show the vibrancy inside the animal kingdom. He shows giraffes, rhinos, zebras, elephants, deers, peacocks living peacefully in nature's lap. The wise selection of colours makes his works attractive, and many children have already taken the paintings to their homes. "I derive inspiration from nature, and I observe the intricate patterns of birds and animals before putting it to the canvas."

But what makes Moosa's paintings different is the use of bright colours. "Bright colours give a distinct look to the animals in a natural habitat. An artist should use his skills to think differently and make his works more attractive," said the diminutive artist, adding "I have to spend more than two days to complete one painting. So I never compromise on quality and try to make it more attractive," he says.

Source: Times of Oman

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