Artist Ebrahim BuSaad reveals the inspiration behind his new exhibition
When Bahraini artist Ebrahim BuSaad was a young boy, growing up in the city of Muharraq, he was passionate about raising birds and pigeons. Coming from an animal-loving community, his home was also always full of stray cats which he and his family fed. Unsurprisingly, on many occasions, the cats would eat BuSaad’s birds, greatly upsetting him.
“The cat is a symbol of betrayal,” he tells us. This is the inspiration for his latest exhibition of paintings Sleeping Cats, which is showing at his gallery until Monday April 25 and comes as part of the line-up of events for this year’s Spring of Culture festival.
“One of the reprehensible characteristics in human nature is betrayal,” he continues. “It is an eternal one but it is painful. Human nature should be closer to love, sincerity and loyalty.”
BuSaad is an award-winning painter and calligrapher who earned his BA in Fine Arts from the University of Baghdad in 1978 and went on to be a founding member of the notable Bahrain Arts Society. Over his prolific career, he’s been part of more than 30 group and solo exhibitions in the Arab World, Europe and China.
Despite this new vibrant and uplifting collection, BuSaad felt almost resentful while working on it. “The topic is very painful,” he says. But this isn’t what he wants onlookers to feel when viewing the collection.
Quite the opposite, in fact. “They should savour the artworks and react with it,” he muses. “They have to stand in meditation and take sides towards beauty, loyalty, love and goodness.” After all, he says, betrayal denotes ugliness, while loyalty reflects beauty.
And we could all stand to see and feel a bit more beauty in this world. Free. Until Monday April 25. BuSaad Art Gallery, Muharraq (17 000 020).