The opening of any new art space in Kuwait is a welcome addition to our cultural agenda, but when this is a gallery to be opened by a lady whose family has a great artistic pedigree and who is herself a knowledgeable art critic then it becomes of particular interest to us.
October 3rd will see the opening of Salwa Sulaiman AlQadi’s ‘Gallery Tilal’. located in Kuwait’s uber-cool Tilal Design Center, Salwa sees the space becoming far more than ‘just’ a gallery, for her it must also become an integral part of the cultural fabric of our city.
The gallery kicks-off the season with an exhibition which gathers together a veritable host of Kuwait’s most renowned artists, and follows this with a full program of shows throughout the year.
Art is a notoriously difficult business to make money from-there’s no doubt that when economic times are good a lot of money is invested in art. At times such as these we all benefit-the artists who sell their work are inspired to create more, as buyers we are well disposed and able to afford their works, and the gallerist is naturally very happy with such a virtuous state of affairs. Whilst we have seen thin times for the past two years, it appears a corner is being turned, and Gallery Tilal is keen to see itself as part of art’s brave future in Kuwait and the region.
Salwa says, “The gallery is a very personal project for me. I love art, it’s always been part of my life and in a sense I want to see the gallery continue my family’s connection with art-both as artists and collectors”.
Salwa is keen to see Kuwaiti artists in the majority at her gallery, together with artists from other Arab neighbours. She explains, “Today’s Kuwaiti artists have a lot of potential and there is great art being produced by them, but I don’t feel they are given enough of a chance to show their work properly”.
Of course Kuwait’s other galleries do a fair job of showing Kuwaiti artists and their work-The Sultan Gallery has a regular program featuring Kuwait’s established and emerging artists, Dar al Funoon has its share of local work, as does the Boushari Gallery-but none to the depth the Salwa plans for the future.
“I think art is like a wild-flower and should be given space to grow unhindered-I think Gallery Tilal will provide this opportunity for the artists”, she says.
Salwa also intends to create a space which is far more than an exhibition space. She is keen to see this serve a broader cultural purpose. “One of the first things we’ve planned is to have an art library here-we’ll have art and cultural related books and audio that people can come and read and listen to here”.
Her dream is to have Gallery Tilal as a hub for both artists and non-artists. She would love, for example, to see university students to use the gallery as a place to study. “They can come to this environment and be surrounded by art and by books and be in the company of other likeminded people”. She sees the experience as being fulfilling for all concerned.
In addition to this the gallery also plans a series of lectures. “My idea is to have these on a wide range of topics, some will perhaps look at art-history or art-techniques, some will have a looser connection to fine art and may talk on architecture, literature or history. We have a wealth of knowledgeable people in Kuwait who are only too happy to share their experience”.
There is little doubt that Salwa’s plans for the future of Gallery Tilal are ambitious, and they fill us with more than a little excitement. What she is doing from the outset is creating a very accessible art space, and one that offers a level of connection to art and culture that some people feel is not currently available all in one space anywhere else in Kuwait.
As a lady who grew up in a family immersed in art she has led an enchanted life in this regard. She retains a respect for the value of art in society, and fortunately for us is using her style and immense energy to create an art-space that our society can benefit from.
Certainly we’ll be back with Salwa for the opening of Gallery Tilal on 3rd October when the gallery is launched with a unique collective exhibition by some of Kuwait’s finest contemporary artists.
If you take our advice, you’ll join us there too.
Gallery Tilal Exhibition Schedule
3rd October Group Exhibition including works by Abdul Rasoul Salman, Thuraya Al-Baqsami, Mahmoud Ashkanani, Laila AlMosallam, Ebrahim Habib, Ghazwan Allaf, Rima Salamoun, Yasir Hamoud, Safa AlSet, Bader Qabazard, Bader AlMansour, Hamad AlSaab & Ali Sultan, Monira Al Qadiri.
17th October Fareed Abdal Exhibition - paintings
1st November Shurooq Amin Exhibition - paintings
28th November Safa AlSet Exhibition - sculptures
12th December Aida Mirza Exhibition - Persian & Oriental carpets
For further information you can visit Gallery Tilal’s Facebook page
First Published in Men's Passion issue #24 September 2010