Bahrain’s only ‘artisan’ gallery project from Wi7da Wa7da (One Unity)
Time Out Bahrain staff
You’ll see Bahrain’s traditional arts and culture showcased across the island this month with the Spring of Culture but down in Zinj they’re taking a new approach to arts with a gallery aimed at showcasing the best of Bahrain’s new talents.
Launched just three months ago +973 is unique in that you can go there and actually order pieces with the displays changing every three months to promote Bahraini designers, artists and artisans.
The gallery, or artisan, as organisers are keen to point out, is a one-of-a-kind concept hosting the country’s young creatives. Run under the umbrella of Wi7da Wa7da, it’s part of a national scheme to kick-start reconciliation among Bahrain’s youth.
Producers can show anything from jewellery to art, furniture and accessories to clothing and even perfumes with the three-month turnaround meaning there’s an opportunity for lots of different young entrepreneurs to take part.
Driving force Dr Shaikha May Al Otaibi said the idea of the project is to display unique items available only for a limited time which will add to their value and sense of authenticity.
Focussing on exclusivity, the project aims to tap into customers’ individuality knowing their purchases won’t be available again.
There will be some bits and pieces that have been produced in factories outside Bahrain but everything on show has been designed here by Bahraini designers many of whom have incorporated the island’s culture into everyday items such as phone covers and home accessories.
It’s hoped to also offer workshops and seminars for the participating artists.
+973 was named after Bahrain’s international country dialling code and, according to Dr Al Otaibi, it aims to use art to bridge the gap between communities caused by two years of unrest.
She said: “The idea is to have everyone involved and to have something unique for the market.”
+973 also wants to develop art as business by bridging the gap between international best practice and local business opportunities.
Currently featuring 25 local artists, designers and producers, the pieces available reflect Bahraini culture mixed with European art and provide a really interesting showcase for young local talents.
A funky café within the art space offers the chance for a cuppa and a chat with the artists whose work is on show, learn about the creative process and how the project is helping to promote unity.