In Depth

Bahrain Art Week in London

The first-ever edition of this vibrant cultural event showcases the diversity of the Gulf country's art scene

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The first major art movement in Bahrain emerged in the 1950s, and the kingdom has since been nurturing homegrown talent to establish a thriving art market that's gaining increasing international recognition.

To celebrate the 200th anniversary of UK/Bahraini relations, supported by a royal visit to Bahrain by HRH The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall in November, the first edition of Bahrain Art Week in London will take place from 16 to 21 December 2016.

The special "Be Bahrain" exhibition, curated by Art Select, will showcase leading art from the country, with a focus on paintings and sculpture that will represent the diversity and vibrancy of the growing Bahraini art scene.

From sculpture and collage to abstract and conceptual art, the selected works narrate a journey that has helped shape Bahrain's cultural history. Featured artists include Somaya Abdulghani, who was shortlisted for Dubai's International Emerging Artist Award in 2015; Mayasa Al Sowaidi, the first-ever Public Vote Prize winner of the Sovereign MENA Prize; and Marwa Al Khalifa, whose work was recently sold at Christie's auction house.

The newly re-branded International ArtBAB (Art Bahrain Across Borders), the nation's foremost contemporary art fair, will hold its second edition in March 2017, and the Be Bahrain exhibition will serve as an exciting preview of what's to come next spring.

Be Bahrain will be open to the public at Asia House from 16 to 21 December; The Gallery, Lower Ground Floor, Asia House, 63 New Cavendish St, London W1G 7LP; asiahouse.org

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