Isle of Wight Festival 2018: review and pictures

As the Isle of Wight festival 2018 celebrated its 50th anniversary, the sun shone as golden as the glittery glad rags parading around the festival field…and we got our cameras out:

Isle of Wight festival 2018: Friday

Grooving on the main stage Nile Rodgers and Chic performed a flawless performance that fired out hit and hit and got the fans on their feet. While the Big Top tent saw Bedford boy Tom Grennan cause a storm on stage and solidifying his status as one of the hottest sounds of 2018.

Friday night came to a close with Kasabian performing a by the book performance that saw the band belt out tune after tune suited for the main stage, Chase and Status caused chaos as fans piled into the Big Top tent desperate to dance into the early hours of the night.

Tom Grennnan @ Isle of Wight Festival 2018 - FAULT Magazine

Tom Grennan performs on the Big Top stage at Isle of Wight Festival 2018

Saturday

The sun continued to shine though out Saturday as areas such as the Old Mout Cider Kiwi Camp kept things cool with their delicious array of ciders and light entertainment like Disco Yoga and Rockaoke.

Brit award winner James Bay was back trading in his trademark hat for slick back hair and riffs galore as he jammed on stage to his follow up album Electric Light. While man of the hour Liam Gallagher pulled in a sizeable crowd and belted out Oasis classics such as Rock n Roll Star and Supersonic that proved to be still some of greatest songs ever written, the downside being a shared stage and not having the time to truly shine.

Sigrid at Isle of Wight Festival 2018 - FAULT Magazine

Sigrid at Isle of Wight Festival 2018

Sunday

Sunday saw Sheryl Crow keep things light and breezy while Cuban-born Camila Cabello gave a scorching performance that added a little heat to the already blistering day – although it was arguably a little tepid compared to that of the England team. Spirits were raised as high as the English flags waving through the sky when the England vs Panama result began to ripple through the raucous crowds, convincing everyone present that football was truly coming home.

It was a welcome return for Sam Duckworth – aka Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly – to the stage as he was supported by a full band that helped transform previous electro-experimental efforts into a vibrant array of melodic splendour. The full ensemble breathed new life into his debut album The Chronicles Of A Bohemian Teenager, sounding as fresh as it did back in 2006.

Norwegian pop sensation Sigrid unfortunately felt the strain of technical difficulties eating into her allotted time by an extra half hour, but was welcomed by an sympathetic crowd filling out the Big Top tent before rushing off to see headline act The Killers take to the main stage.

The Las Vegas band pulled no punches as their perfect blend of indie rock and bruised Americana with a Springsteen-esque twang attracted multiple generations to the main stage. Spectators witnessed a dazzling performance accompanied by festival fireworks soaring almost as high as the bands brilliant finale Mr Brightside, proving that Isle of Wight is one of the biggest and brightest festivals around.

The Isle of Wight Festival 2018 celebrating its 50 year anniversary - FAULT Magazine

The Isle of Wight Festival 2018 was celebrating its 50 year anniversary

 

Keep tabs on tickets for next year’s Isle of Wight Festival here: www.isleofwightfestival.com

 

Words and photos by Jack Lloyd

Isle of Wight Festival 2018 starts tomorrow!

This year, FAULT will be sporting our finest glittery glad rags to help celebrate the 50th anniversary of Isle of Wight Festival 2018. Guaranteed to be a cracking year and soundtracked by none other than FAULT Issue 27 cover star Liam Gallagher, along with The Killers, Kasabian and Depeche Mode.

Isle of Wight Festival 2018 lineup

Every year Isle of Wight continues to bring some of the best live music around! With the likes of Manic Street Preachers, Nile Rodgers, Rita Ora and Chase and Status also making an appearance, there’s guaranteed to be an act for all to enjoy.

And of course, it’s not all about the music, Isle of Wight is also a fantastic opportunity to unwind and get stuck in to some fine dining. With a huge variety of food stalls on offer at the Octopus’ Garden, you’ll be able to experience a range of culinary delights.

With the Old Mout Cider Kiwi Camp back for a second year, they’ll also be providing plenty of entertainment with Disco Yoga, Rockaoke and much more, running all day and night.

Or, if you want to just kick back on the sofa swing and take it all in. The bar will be fully stocked with that crisp, cold, fruity stuff that Old Mout make so well.

We’re most excited to see James Bay return to the stage to perform his blistering follow up album Electric Light, along with The Killers belting out some familiar stadium-sized hits and Liam Gallagher adding some swagger to the stage.

Liam Gallagher is headlining the Isle of Wight Festival 2018 (Saturday 23rd June)

Liam Gallagher is headlining the Isle of Wight Festival 2018 (Saturday 23rd June)

There will also be a range of awesome indie tunes being blasted out This Feeling, the UK’s best club for future rock and roll, which is making a welcome return and bringing with it to the stage Hey Charlie, Avalanche Party and many more – all of which gives this year’s Isle of Wight a real edge in the UK top festival stakes!

 

Visit the Isle of Wight festival website for more details: isleofwightfestival.com

Words: Jack Lloyd

David LaChapelle solo exhibition in Holland

Good news for modern man: the future is bright. If you need any convincing to pop over to the pretty city of Groningen in Holland, the David LaChapelle solo exhibition should sway you in the right direction. Not the most obvious place to showcase the photographer’s raunchy images (after all, he has a history photographing Beyonce, Miley Cyrus and Lady Gaga), but this latest anthology returns to his artistic roots, and complement Groningen’s old town juxtaposed with modern buildings, which nestle on the canal in the north of the Netherlands.

David LaChapelle The Rape of Africa

Known for producing experimental fashion editorials, commercials and music videos for high profile clients, LaChapelle has worked with every big name in the industry, and is one of the most respected and in demand photographers around the world; So it is interesting to find that the Gronginger Museum, already owns one of his controversial, hyper stylised works, and is the place he chose for his first solo exhibition in the Netherlands.

To the broad minded Dutch nation- naked bodies, interracial relationships and liberal religious views are widely acceptable, and a show that comments on sexuality, birth, death and nature in an idyllic, utopian world would appear to be the perfect partnership. Taking over the modernistic Museum (which was redesigned by Philippe Starck and Alessandro Mendini) adds a unique, modern focus to the university town. Situated in a central location on the canal, and directly opposite the ancient architecture of the train station it offers a juxtaposition of eras, but this is something that works so well in Holland.

A bit of a rebel himself, LaChapelle ran away to New York aged 15, and worked as a busboy in Studio 54. Immersing himself in glamorous New York disco scene, he got to know the “It” crowd and partied with the movers and shakers of the eighties pop art scene including Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat. It is also where he was introduced to Andy Warhol and his infamous “Factory”. Already photographing people, LaChapelle soon gained recognition for his uniquely raw images. Snapped up by Warhol, he became the photographer for ‘Interview’ magazine and exhibited alongside other 80s pioneers Doug Aitken and Karen Kilimnik.

His style emphasising lewd, larger than life subjects became him trademark, and he embraced the flamboyant characters of the nineties and noughties. Celebrities, high fashion magazines and advertising clients were queuing up to get immersed in La Chapelle’s irreverent gaze- where anti-perfection was approved and surrealism encouraged.  However, the celebrity bubble seems to have peaked for LaChapelle, as his more recent work is a much more personal representation of transfiguration, regaining paradise, and the notion of life after death.

David LaChapelle The Rape of Africa

Breaking boundaries, La Chapelle uses fine art as a basis for his work and is the first to admit he explores the darker side of reality. Often using props, he is the master of creating make believe worlds where anything is possible. The hyper-real landscapes blend urban and suburban environments to create a make believe setting which is also super real and accessible. This form of art is contrary to what other commercial photographers were presenting, and opened up a niche market for emotions.

In fact, after shooting every celebrity (and their dog) in 2006, he stepped away from commercial work, retreating to an isolated former nudist colony in Maui, Hawaii to focus on fine-art photography and farming. Whether this break was a rejection of the fast moving lifestyle where celebrity photography comes with its own celebrity or it was a time to reflect as he openly talks about his friends who died of AIDS, his consequential work has a more personal influence.

David-LaChapelle-The-House-at-the-End-of-the-World-2005

‘Good News for Modern Man’ is filled with sins and redemption is a deeply personal insight into LaChapelle’s life. With over 70 pieces, the narrative is as jerky as it is unanticipated, yet it seems to flow. Clearly inspired by fine artists Edward Hopper, William Blake and the Old Masters, LaChapelle has a knack of combining the two disciplines -fusing photography with art; Resulting in large scale representations of joy, lust, and paradise which are symbolic and timeless.

Mostly, these works reject the material world and are deeply spiritual or religious, with obvious reference to the greats. In particular, you can recognise Michelangelo’s ‘Renaissance’ in ‘The Deluge’ series. An immersive piece of art which engulfs the viewer in the ginormous seven metres wide span. On closer inspection you can see the sitters are big names from celebritydom, with Kanye West as Jesus, Lil’ Kim as the Virgin Mary and Naomi Campbell as Venus, which might be highly irreverent for some.

Part of LaChapelle’s work is tongue in cheek. Courting exploitation, he chooses religion to express popularity; Nothing is sacred or forbidden and his modern day representation of religious icons brings a new dimension to opinions of life after death and questions the metaphysical side of life.

With a clear shift in focus from commercial commissions, this exhibition displays LaChapelle’s personal and intuitive concepts. Split into categories. ‘New World’ shares his personal search for Eden using thinly disguised biblical references which have the background of his sanctuary in Hawaii. However these pieces are seen more as art than photography as the two disciplines are fused to produce hyper-surreal images which burst into thousands of colours in front of you.

Lachapelle-blancanieves

The exhibition will no doubt question the viewer’s spiritual beliefs, and LaChapelle even questions himself on how long modern art actually lasts. It is a must-see for anyone with an inquisitive nature as the show is not just about the artworks, but is an important slice of history which makes a profound commentary on the contemporary world.

The exhibition LaChapelle: Good News For Modern Man can be seen from 21 April to 28 October 2018.

Head to Groningen for the exhibition and stay the weekend. This up and coming city is well worth a visit and only two hours from Amsterdam, you can have the perfect weekend away!

Jesus is my homeboy

FACTBOX

Gronginger Museum

*Hotel*

A pretty, listed 4star hotel,  dating back to the 15th century.

NH Groningen Hotel de Ville

Oude Boteringestraat 43-45, 9712 GD Groningen

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*Canal Trip*

The perfect way to see the city without walking across the cobbles.

Rondvaartbedrijf Kool

Stationsweg 1012, 9726 AZ Groningen

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*Restaurant*

Delicious, healthy modern cuisine. Open late, but must book.

Brasserie  Midi

Folkingestraat 42, Groningen

Queen of Hoxton launches winter rooftop riad inspired by the Moroccan Medina

 

We’re excited to be going down to Tangier town tonight for the launch of Queen of Hoxton‘s winter rooftop launch. Inspired by the Moroccan Medina, the venue is set to be transformed into a little taste of Marrakech in London for the season. The rooftop bar will feature a mini-riad inside a custom-designed wigwam, replete with Baboushe slippers, ceramic tiles, twinkling lanterns, cushions and drapes.

 

 

Outside the wigwam itself, the rooftop bar has been completed revamped to replicate the sensations of the iconic Jardin Majorelle. We’re expecting blue walls, hanging plants, cacti in abundance – and swathes of Saint Laurent!

The Morrocan Medina inspired rooftop was orchestrated by Fables, the festival production team behind the notoriously decadent Secret Garden Party (RIP).

SAMPLE DRINKS MENU

Kasbah Coffee Martini (hot)

A hot Espresso Martini made with Amaro di Angostura, Tia Maria and Espresso, with Cardamom (hot)

Casablancan Mint Tea

A fragrant brew of Gin, Fresh Moroccan Mint Tea and Rose Water (hot)

The Majorelle Man

Orange liquor, whiskey, homemade date and pistachio puree, served on the rocks (cold)

Spiced Hot Buttered Rum

Our rooftop classic with a Moroccan spiced twist made with Sailor Jerrys, Apple Juice and Moroccan spices served in a mug (hot)

SAMPLE FOOD MENU

Halloumi Fries

Deep Fried Halloumi cheese garnished with pomegranate seeds, mint, fresh chilli and harissa yoghurt

Sherpa’s Tagine

Lamb and Apricot Tagine Served with Pomegranate and Mint Couscous

Shwarma Chicken Wrap

Shawarma Chicken Thigh, shredded Onion Salad, Hummus, Baba Ganoush, Harissa

Mezze Bowl for one of Board for 2 (Vegan Mezze)

Colourful Vegan Mezze of Pistachio Falafel, Vegan Spiced Kibbe (Bulgar Wheat
Croquettes), Beetroot Hummus, Baba Ganoush, Spiced Crispy Chickpeas, Roasted RedPeppers, Flatbread

 

http://www.queenofhoxton.com/

FAULT Magazine Travel Photo Series: ‘Love Letter to Italy’

Situated in the idyllic, central belt of Italy lie the regions of Tuscany and Liguria. One reason to visit would simply be the cuisine on it’s own. Both regions boasting delicious gastronomy with great olive oil, wines, truffle and pastas respectively but then there’s the scenery.

At the uppermost tip of Tuscany you find the Province of Pisa and its world heritage site – famed for it’s leaning tower and the white structures of the Duomo and Baptistry. Pisa is well worth the trip to see these architectural wonders and spend an hour in the evening sun next to the green lawns, amused by the many tourists attempting to line up with the tower. As you travel inland you enter the Province of Lucca, and a stones through from Pisa is the walled city of Lucca its self. With its Roman heart is cultured, peaceful and evocative. The place is brimming with piazzas, churches and cobbled lanes.

Further north and not to be missed are Valle del Serchio or Garfagnana with their characteristic villages – among them Borgo a Mozzano, famous for its spectacular Devil’s Bridge. As well as both Coreglia Antelminelli and Barga – enchanting Medieval villages with prized architecture and breath taking views. Lakes and spectacular mountain passes are found in abundance.

Bordering Tuscany in the region of Liguria is the Province of La Spezia. Changing landscapes succeed each other and create glorious sceneries. The Cinque Terre, composed of five villages that are made up from pastel-hued buildings, provides a breath taking backdrop to the crystalline Ligurian Sea. These picturesque villages are backed by stretches of hills that are covered by olive trees and woods that dominate the landscape. But an afternoon spent in Manarola, where you can watch cliff divers and sun bathers in their droves whilst drinking crisp white wine and eating anti pasti really is the epitome of this trip. La Dolce Vita.

 

Barga

 

Pisa

 

Borgo A Mozzano

 

Borgo A Mozzano ‘Devils Bridge’

 

Barga

 

Shades of yellow around Tuscany

 

Pontecosi

 

Fiats in Barga

 

Pisa

 

Left – View of the Apuane Alps. Right – Borgo A Mozzano

 

Sunset from Coreglia Antelminelli

 

Coreglia Antelminelli

 

Coreglia Antelminelli

 

Left – Coreglia Antelminelli. Right – Lucca

 

Left – Fiat 500 in Barga Right – Manarola

 

Monterosso Al Mare

 

Monterosso Al Mare

 

Diving in Manarola

 

Manarola

 

Manarola

 

Photography and words by Thomas Wood

See more of Thomas’ work

Proof – Lauren Hockney

 

L’Atitude 13° North Beach & Wellness Festival: Good vibes for the body & soul

If you’re a seasoned festival goer in search of something fresh, or you’re after an antidote to the hedonistic vibes of the British festival season, L’Atitude 13° North Beach and Wellness Festival in Barbados might just be the answer.

The free festival takes place on the beautiful Caribbean island from 2nd to 3rd September and is promising the perfect blend of wellbeing and Bajan beats. More fun than a yoga retreat, better for the soul than an all-night rave, it is a celebration of the quality of life in Barbados that everyone is invited to sample a taste of. From reggae you can’t help but move to being performed on the main stage, to massage and yoga tents, to the BBQ on the beach closing both days, there’s plenty to experience and the party wraps up at 10pm so you’ll even get a good night’s rest instead of clambering through a field of tents in the rain at 3am.

This is the first ever time the festival has been run, but it’s already being hailed as the beach and wellness festival of the Caribbean. Designed for the locals, and bringing together some of the island’s best music stars, fitness instructors and wellness professionals, this is one of the most authentic experiences tourists can have of Barbados.

Serving up feel-good vibes are reggae, soul, and funk artists including Biggie Irie and Debbie Reifer. Biggie Irie is the not-to-be-missed name whose stage presence gets any party started with catchy soca/reggae tunes. Born in the UK and moving to Barbados at the age of three, Biggie Irie has been working in music since 1986 and is a household name across the Caribbean. Debbie Reifer, a relative newcomer, has already won over audiences with her richly soulful voice and smooth R’n’B songs, which have even caught the attention of filmmakers, with her music featuring heavily on the soundtrack for locally-produced, internationally-acclaimed movie ‘Chrissy’.

Other names confirmed on the line-up include David Kirton, DJ D.Luxe, and Israel Lovell Foundation. We guarantee you’ll come back feeling refreshed and restored with a new-found love of Bajan culture and a whole new Spotify playlist to prove it.

L’Atitude 13° North Barbados Beach and Wellness Festival takes place from 2nd to 3rd September 2017 on the Hilton Peninsula and is free of charge, though fees apply to some fitness classes and treatments. For more information visit www.visitbarbados.org

Words: Olivia Pinnock

 

 

Life On A Tightrope: A Story of Positivity from The Voice Israel’s First Palestinian Winner, Lina Makhul.

Photography: Jack Alexander
Hair & Makeup: Guy Tako

Words: Miles Holder

After receiving 62% of the overall vote, Lina Makhul first stormed to notoriety by becoming the first Palestinian winner of Israel’s, The Voice. Lina’s road to victory was not an easy one, however; during her acceptance speech Lina alluded to the cyber bullying that attempted to halt her ascension through the competition but emblematic of her always positive attitude, she mainly used the time to thank the Israeli public for voting in spite of their cultural differences.

That was 2013 and while Lina has made a name for herself in Israel, she is still relatively unknown on the global music scene – before today…With the release of Lina’s music video for track ‘Can’t Keep Falling’, FAULT travelled to Israel to photograph and interview Lina during her two-day music video shoot and to discuss just what it takes to become Israel’s most exciting new artist.

Meeting Lina, she is outgoing, fun, bubbly and talkative but despite her “devil may care” attitude, it’s clear that beneath her outward demeanour, she is an extremely focussed, business minded and determined musician who is no stranger to a hard work. Day one was a nineteen-hour video shoot in the middle of the Judean desert and not a minute went by when Lina wasn’t hard at work.

 

 

 

FAULT: How do you stay so positive?

Lina: I love doing what I do and I’m always positive because I’m living my one true dream.

Becoming the first Palestinian to win a major singing contest in Israel’s history while, a great feat, it also came at a price. Lina’s win saw her became the shared success story of two famously opposing houses – a large weight to bear for any nineteen-year-old.

 

FAULT: The Voice wasn’t the first time in your life that you faced persecution. How did you overcome the challenge of connecting with the Israeli public?

Lina: If you want to get to people’s heart, you must first allow them into your heart. I couldn’t force them to like me, it was about opening my heart to the audience and allowing them to make a decision on me through what they saw. We’re all people at the end of the day and I think that’s how I made people forget about the typecasting and political undertones of my being on The Voice.

 

FAULT: Do you ever fall into the trap of trying to please everyone at your own demise?

Lina: Yes, but it’s part of the everyday struggle of being a Palestinian in Isreal. I’ve always made it my mission to prove that Palestinians are really no different from Israelis. Our culture and language might be different but at the end of the day, we’re all citizens of the world and should see past it.

When I won The Voice I was only nineteen and I barely knew who I was but despite that, I was trying to please everyone and that made it was very difficult for me to find myself. I was always so scared to upset a group of people that I would lose all personality. It’s different now and I’m tired of it – my opinion is mine and mine alone and if I can go to sleep happy with what I’ve said that day, then I will continue to live my life this way.

I’ve realised that I don’t have to be the ambassador of anyone but myself and because I am such a supporter of my Palestinian roots and Israeli/ USA upbringing, they will all be proud of me for striving for success in all of their names.

 

 

Listening to tracks taken from Lina’s upcoming album, it’s no doubt that Lina can sing. While there are often negative connotations with television competitions winners, Lina’s vocal range and rich tones, place her on a par (and in many cases above) that of contemporary western musicians. This is as true with her up-tempo tracks as it is with her more sombre ballads, but don’t take my words on it alone – FAULT’s previous cover stars Adam Lambert and Alicia Keys have both also taken a liking to Lina.

 

Lina: I downloaded Alicia Keys’ latest album and I loved it for how real it was. She totally exposed herself and revealed so much. Her song Holy War just touched me so much as an American born Palestinian living in Israel, I just needed to record it. I wrote out the words in Arabic and just put everything out there and sang about a number of modern day issues which were weighing on my mind. About a month later, my phone freezes and I’m so confused but it turns out that I was just being inundated with messages from fans that Alicia Keys had shared my version with.

I just love her, I’ve loved all her music and even when I auditioned for The Voice I sang one of her songs.

In 2016, Queen and Adam Lambert brought their tour to Israel and hand picked a local talent that would embody their own personal flare of individualism – that person was Lina.

I got the call three months before the show from my manager but I honestly didn’t believe it would ever happen. I thought “no way, they’ll cancel on me”. It didn’t hit me until the concert that it was actually happening. Queen, Adam Lambert, fifty thousand people and I was so scared but the minute I went on stage I just snapped into action. I closed my eyes when I started singing and when I opened them I had the whole audience singing back to me.

 

FAULT: You’ve also gone on to cover ‘Too Much Love Will Kill You’ mixing Arabic and English lyrics on your album.

Lina: After the concert, I fell in love with the moment and I wanted to cherish it forever. I went back to the studio and the minute we were done I said “excuse me for a second I want to do something” and I started writing lyrics in Arabic to add to the song and everyone loved it and it felt so good that the lyrics just came out without me even putting pen to paper.

 

 

However, the time for covers is over and Lina is ready to release her original material. Above you’ll find Lina’s first music video for ‘Can’t Keep Falling’ which was co-written by Lina herself.

 

FAULT: Now that it’s out, how do you feel about the track?

Lina: I just love the song and not because it’s my song, it’s just me and I’d love it even if a different artist was singing it.

While ‘Can’t Keep Falling’ is a perfect choice and released at the right time as we enter the summer season, Lina’s album is also laden with personal musical numbers, none more personal than the albums title track ‘Walking On A Tightrope’. The track conveys Lina’s musical journey and her diverse cultural upbringing as she sings in both English and Arabic. The beautiful song penned by the legendary Karen Poole.

 

FAULT: Tell us the story behind ‘Walking On A Tightrope’

Lina: It all started when I was recording in London with Karen and she turns and says, “I feel like your whole life story has been you walking on this tightrope. You’re from Palestine but you won The Voice Israel and now you’re here in London being very careful with the words you say and trying to please so many people” and it just got to me on a deeper level. My life is a tightrope, one filled with ups and downs and shaky moments but that is also true for many different people out there.
As personal as the song is to me, it also rings true for many other people from different walks of life and it’s that shared experience that reinforces the notion that we are all bound by our similarities and not divided by them.

 

 

FAULT: You have a lot of personal songs on the album, is it hard to put so much of your story out there for public scrutiny?

Lina: After The Voice I was so scared to put out music that I wrote; I didn’t want people to know how I really felt, I just wanted people to know what I wanted them to know and let that be it. Now, I need to share my life with the audience. I want them to know who I am. It’s a privilege to have people care about my opinion so I owe it to my audience to be truthful.

FAULT: And Lastly, what is your FAULT?

Lina: I’m impatient and want everything to happen straight away! When I record a new song, I just want to release it there and then and for my fans to hear my whole album straight away but I’m learning the importance of taking it slow and releasing when my music is perfectly me.

 

Returning back to the UK, there is no doubt in our mind that Lina has a bright future in music ahead of her. With a strong first single and many equally as strong follow-ups to come in the near future, Lina has all the potential take the European and American music scene by storm. Be it her empathic songwriting,
her continued messages of unity, her powerhouse vocal or her fierce yet endearing personality – while no longer forcing it, Lina will continue to be a musician to mean so much to many different people.

Find more of Lina on

Facebook 
Instagram

FAULT Reviews: ArtBaB Fair, Bahrain

The Kingdom of Bahrain may be small but it punches above its weight in the wealth and new tech stakes. It is now establishing itself as a leading cultural destination in the Gulf via ArtBaB.

Guests at ArtBaB

Guests at ArtBaB

 

FAULT’s sister publication, The Art Collector, visited ArtBaB (Art Bahrain across Borders) which is just in its second year. ArtBaB’s mission is to create a platform for both local and international galleries to engender a dialogue on how art bridges geographical locations by a shared aesthetic and artistic language. The incubation of high-quality home-grown artists juxtaposed against international ones created a fascinating platform for comparison of both the differences and the similarities.

There are several factors that contribute to making an art fair globally significant. The foundation is, as ever, great art; the structure is heavyweight collectors; the organisation is logistics, sponsors, media and invited guests.  This is what has made the Frieze Art Fairs a superbrand.

A spade of art fairs in the UAE means that ArtBaB fits nicely into the emerging rhetoric of the Middle East as a cultural hot spot that is shaping up as a formidable contender to the West.

The requisite art-collector-guest ratio that is needed for a successful art fair is beginning to coalesce around ArtBaB. The fair is still young, but it means that ArtBaB is able to cultivate high-quality artists and works whilst building a more substantial art platform. The fair has already attracted renowned Middle Eastern artists and a handful of high-end commercial galleries from around the world such as Maddox Gallery, London, XVA Gallery, Dubai, Project 88, Mumbai and Bait Munza, Oman.

DSC_6536

The artists

For the seasoned art circuit-hopper the art might come across as not edgy enough. At the same time, the works on show were underpinned by great skill and good taste. This is art that is not pandering to trends but has its own agenda. Some of the works had an iconic quality about them and will pass the test of time. It is, after all, the strength of talent that will place Middle Eastern (and Bahraini) artists into the cannon of contemporary art.

A good example are the works of  Lulwa Al Khalifa defined by her own mission statement:

“Today art is weighed down by pretension that defies its true purpose, to inspire, evoke, provoke and delight. I believe that art is for everyone, it should be shared and appreciated.”

A self-taught painter, her oil canvasses are a mixture of abstract expressionism and the figurative. The blend creates a mellifluous hazy texture in the background, which is often in stark contrast to the very real and very beautiful figures in the foreground. The result is a magical – filled with colour and emotions.

You can view a sample of her works here.

FullSizeRender(4)

Omani artist Ahmed Al-Shukali was one of the few Omani artists exhibiting at ArtBaB. His introspective portraits draw in the viewer who are confronted with a very raw and real view into the everyday life of the working man. The portrait photographs are intimate and, relatively uncontrived, show every human’s basic essence – with the only difference being the eyes, which, as the proverb goes, are the window to one’s soul. Equally impressive are the expansive landscapes which breathe new life into an often empty space.

Structure: the Collectors

The fair has already attracted a few patrons from the Gulf and a trickle of quality collectors from around the world, clearly aiming at becoming a contender to the well-established neighboring ArtDubai.

DSC_6173

The fair

With several well-known international galleries firmly entrenched at ArtBaB, it is evident that in a few years the fair will be booming with talent from around the world.

DSC_7975

In terms of juxtaposition between art from the West and that from the Middle East, the former was dominated by trendy styles that are recycled in a lively manner with an array of pop art, the conceptual and the abstract. The Middle Eastern art, on the other hand, appeared to retain its traditional roots all the while experimenting with contemporary ideas. The Middle Eastern rhetoric is supported by traditional motifs and references, and enhanced by contemporary ideas and styles. It is already both well-received and exhibits all the hallmarks of enduring relevance.

 

 

 

ArtBaB is evolving organically, striving to combine authenticity with quality, as it grows to join the ranks of international art fairs. Having already generated sales of over 200,000 Bahraini Dinars this year alone, it is already making serious strides in that direction – both in terms of the works on show and in terms of high-profile attendees.

Art Bab

With thanks to sponsors Gulf Air for assisting with the flights and the Four Seasons Bahrain.


Originally posted on The Art Collector