Check out the art and culture market taking over Bab al Bahrain this month
Time Out Bahrain staff
Staged by the Ministry of Culture as part of Spring of Culture and the kingdom’s efforts towards marking Manama as the Capital of Arab Tourism 2013, the Bab Market aims to revive the Bab and the surrounding area with an outdoor festival featuring local designers and retailers, workshops, musical performances and a pop-up art gallery and we’ve got all the details. The market The market space can hold around 20 stalls and these are just some of the unusual sellers you’ll find taking part:
• Citizen Scientist - raising awareness about Bahrain’s environment and global climate issues
• GDB Photography - a display of Gulsahs studio photography
• Zine Stall - selling simple publications made by local artists at the earlier workshop
• MC Accessories - coasters and bracelets
• Images D’Orient - home line accessories - coasters, placemats, wooden trays, tea boxes, bottle holders, cake boxes
• Babushka - refurbished furniture
• Nadooi Creations - post cards and T-shirts with arabic stick figures
• A Brush To Your Scent - perfume including a special scent created for Bab Al Bahrain
• FYI Wall Art - a range of materials used to produce wall art products)
• Alia’s Textile - fashion including shirts, jumpers, dresses and scarves.
• Sharabi Sisters – T-shirts and art work
• Noora’s Art - mugs and art work
• Tins and Jars - home baked Bahraini goods such as Bahraini regag, flavoured bread sticks (mehyawa and za’atar) And, of course, there’ll be a range of foods from the likes of Bossy Kitchen, serving organic food, to Poppuccino pop corn.
The pop-up gallery
There’ll be a free-standing, locally-designed pop-up gallery featuring a different exhibition each week – the shops, workshops and musical performances are on at the weekends but the gallery will be open all month long.
Week one will be the second showing of the group exhibition ‘If Walls Could Talk’ which was at Bahrain Financial Harbour during December and January. The works explore the barriers that surround us and each artist’s individual interpretation of walls. One work from each of the ten artists in the original show will be featured.
Week two is a solo show, concentrating on faces, from Ladan Rasool whose fun and funky paintings are done in oil but are so skillfully mastered they could have been created on a printing press! The crazy thing is, this artist has only been painting a year!
Originally Turkish and married to a Bahraini who she met at college in the UK, Rasool is mother to two boys and a girl and took up painting at the urging of her daughter, who is herself an accomplished artist.
Week three is a solo show of Tonya Vollertsen. Abstraction and colour are what this American artist does best. She loves to work with live models and spends most of her time in her studio creating and looking out over the sprawling Bahrain skyline from the 360 degree view in her flat.
Vollertsen has been ‘making art’ since her childhood, in Texas and Oklahoma. She has taught watercolour and sculpture, opened a gallery and has won numerous awards.
Week four features the gorgeous still-life photographs of film maker Isa Swain. A reliable yet infrequent contributor to Bahrain’s art scene, Swain has nonetheless collaborated and exhibited in a wide variety of media both on the island and overseas. Born and raised in England his family returned to Bahrain in the early nineties and since then, he has produced works of photography, digital video and film; sound, performance pieces and installations.
Week five is a solo show from Faika Alhassan whose constant themes are the Tarboosh and tiny people. Bahraini by birth, Baghdadi by education, Al-Hassan studied economics at the University of Baghdad and later established herself as one of Bahrain’s leading contemporary artists. She has participated in exhibitions around the world and takes her inspiration from her travels.
Throughout the month there'll be a whole range of workshops open to the public that are either free or reasonably priced. Most need to be booked in advance so act now.
Apprenticeship with George Rahi creating the Bicycle Arpeggio Project By using bicycles as raw materials, ‘Bicycle Arpeggio’ explores musical instrument design through unconventional means. Musical qualities lie in all objects and, with an understanding of the principles of acoustics, a commonplace object such as a bicycle can be re-imagined and re-constructed into a dynamic instrument. If you are interested in exploring instrumental sound, building something musical from scratch or composing and performing with anything other than the usual commercially-made instruments, then this is for you! Until Sunday, March 3 (dates to be arranged with the artist). Maximum ten people. Free.
Apprenticeship with Zee Kesler in creating a music park and/or a shadow puppet workshop Music park - more exploration of unconventional design using raw and found materials, such as items found in the Souq or local hardware store to produce some interesting musical instruments. Shadow puppets – community artist and organizer Zee, who works in Canada, will teach you how to not only make these puppets but will also help you to ‘play’ to prepare you for working with children in this workshop space. Cut outs, cellophane and simple overhead projectors are used. Until Sunday, March 3 (dates to be arranged with the artist). Maximum ten people. Free.
Babushka A workshop on decorating a jewellery box, a bracelet and a frame based on participants’ choices of colour and beading. Mariam Fathi and Sara Sayyar Friday, March 1, 4-7pm.
Learn how to make use of old and dismantled goods and other raw materials to create your own customised and personalised piece of furniture. These workshops will be site specific with participants being taken round the Souq for inspiration. Saturday, March 9, 3-7pm. Maximum eight people per workshop. Cost BD5.
Print Making Learn how to create a small finished printing ‘plate’ with your own image inspired by the Bab Al Bahrain and Manama Souq then use the completed plate (no printing press involved, you’ll be using hand-held implements such as wooden spoons and rolling pins) to make a print or prints that can be framed or added to greetings cards. Tonya Vollertsen Friday, March 1 and Saturday March 2, noon-3pm or Friday, March 29 and Saturday March 30, noon-3pm. Maximum ten people. Cost BD10.
Bitz & Bowz Janna, a young entrepreneur herself, will be teaching a workshop for kids in which cute hairpins will be made with fabric and then jazzed up and personalised. Creative fun that’s suitable for youngsters. Hamra and Jannah Alam Saturday March 2, 4-5pm or Saturday, March 30, 4-5pm. Maximum ten people per class. Cost BD3.
Fashion Design Sketching for Families Hamra Alam Ever had an idea in your head but just can’t find it in the shops? Check out this workshop for families (everyone’s welcome) in which Hamra, herself a successful designer, shows how to use simple mediums to create fast fashion sketches that’ll enable you to get your ideas out of your head, onto paper and then to the tailor! Saturday, March 2, 6-7pm or Saturday, March 30, 6-7pm. Maximum ten people per class. Cost BD3.
Adobe Lightroom 4 A three-hour workshop with two hours of instruction on the programme’s features and editing options and one hour of practical working on sample images on your own laptop (participants need to bring their own laptop). Lightroom is a photo management and editing software. Saji Antony Friday, March 8, 4-7pm. Maximum 12 people. Cost BD15.
Silk Screen Printing Screen printing uses a stencil to apply ink onto another material using a stencil to draw a design. This workshop will show how to create a stencil using drawing fluid and screen filler – a simple method which provides a great introduction to screen printing. By the end of the workshop, you’ll have a basic understanding of how to transfer hand drawn images onto T-shirts which can then be sold at the market if you like! MayYateem and Tahani One class over three weekends Fridays, March 8, 15 and 22, noon-3pm. Maximum ten people. Cost BD15.
Heritage Perfume A workshop focussing on the impact of the Middle East in perfumery and allowing participants to learn how to develop and formulate their own attar. Participants will go home with a small sample of their own personal creation! Dr Valerie Lovisa Friday, March 15 or Saturday, March 16, 4-6pm. Maximum ten people. Cost BD15.
Mixed Media Jewellery A beginner-level class for craft and jewellery enthusiasts, by the end of the three-day course students will have created a collection of jewellery, a mood board for the collection and have knowledge of the suppliers in Bahrain. Azza al-Hujairi Thursday-Saturday, March 28-30, 4-7pm. Maximum 15 people. Cost BD15.
Zine this? Look out for the Zine Stall – they’ll be selling mini mags, or zines (think the early fanzines), made at the first of the workshops, with Leon D and Tamadher Al Fahal, which took place at the end of February. We’re expecting some interesting subjects!
Flash mob We’re sworn to secrecy on the date but one of the weekends will see a flash mob, led by Amed and Eva of Latin Dance Bahraini, with a whole group of dancers turning up out of the blue to strut their stuff.