A Persian Carpet Installation by Qatari Artist in Paris
As part of the Qatar-France 2020 Year of Culture, Qatari artist Ghada Al Khater, in collaboration with the Parisian creative studio, Bonjour Interactive Lab, showcased her installation “Jardin de lumière” at Nuit Blanche, a 24-hour festival of international arts and culture held in Paris.
The installation by Ghada Al Khater reimagines a Persian carpet as a giant living rug at the intersection of nature and human heritage. Inspired by Qatari flora and fauna as well as traditional patterns, “Jardin de lumière” was brought to life with new animation techniques by Bonjour Interactive Lab. The installation comprises parcels of plants and flowers growing interactively as the visitor walks on the carpet, accompanied by a soundtrack made exclusively for the installation adding a component of olfactory senses. Inspired by traditional rug patterns, such as herati, boteh, central medallion, and other pictorial designs, the artist transports visitors into a poly-sensorial journey.
Ghada Al Khater, a Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts in Qatar graduate and a 2014 resident of Cité Internationale des Arts, has in the past combined art and politics in cartoons and satirical socio-political commentaries on relevant international affairs.
On her collaborative work with Bonjour Interactive Labs, Ghader says, “Carpets have left their mark throughout history bringing us extraordinary craftsmanship, storytelling, and artistry. It is therefore fitting to focus on carpets, a timeless symbol of cultural exchange, as part of the Qatar-France 2020 Year of Culture initiative. Jardine de Lumière brings Qatari fauna and flora to life, weaving light and shadow playfully in an intricate dance with the audience;
Aisha Al Attiya, Head of Years of Culture at Qatar Museums, said: “Ghada is a phenomenal talent whose thought-provoking works have uniquely contributed to Qatar’s arts and culture landscape. We are extremely proud to have her gaining international exposure through her participation at Nuit Blanche as part of the Qatar-France Year of Culture, which celebrates the longstanding ties between both nations and enables us to showcase local talent beyond our borders.”
Her neon work, ‘A Blessing in Disguise’, exhibited at the Doha Fire Station, is Al Khater’s Arabic answer to Martin Creed’s ‘Everything is Going to be Alright’, and makes reference to a familiar proverb that formed a significant part of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani’s historical speech on 21 July 2017, in which he addressed citizens of Qatar following the blockade.