Only a few days to go until my first solo photo exhibition on the life in the United Kingdom. From the moment I decided to make this dream a reality, my pulse has beat at 180 bmps. Time has flown and now I am in a race against all the last minute details and crises that need solving. Only yesterday, I found out that one of the three walls in the exhibition space cannot have frames hung on it. How am I supposed to solve this problem? Thirty picture frames cannot be parked onto two walls entirely! Breathe. Just breathe. A gentle little voice whispers in my ears: ìEnjoy the process.î That is the voice of passion.
As a journalist for Kuwait Times that covers culture and society, I am impressed by the tenacity of the rising art scene in Kuwait and by the growing spread of culture, artistic events, social gatherings and lectures, collective and personal exhibitions ñ including many that are not supported by official bodies. I admire the courage and dedication of those who dare to show their work, to make their passions come alive. And I am inspired by them to do the same for myself. To accomplish something that has meaning and interest for me personally.
During my studies in the UK, I focused on street photography but until now I never had the courage to show my work to the world.
Having decided to finally take the leap, I started planning the exhibition. There are now available dozens of exhibition galleries and locations in Kuwait for photographers, artists and other creative people. Some will rent space out, others prefer a percentage of any sales. Most want to know who you are, what you are about and to see samples of your work.
For me, the real challenge was the printing of my photographs. There are many amazing print shops but finding one that is affordable, can do the job under the deadline and with high quality is harder than it should be.
The virtues of social media in facilitating the announcement of events are undeniable. Still, it is inadvisable to rely completely on it and better to send personal invitations via WhatsApp, or by mail, (if there ís some money left). Attach a sitemap to make it easier for your guests and save them the hassle of asking about the location. Eventually, you will discover that some friends and colleagues want to assist. It is nice to stop a little to cherish the moments that people around you are showing support. Only one annoying friend will never leave you throughout that period. His name is tension. Some music and good sleep can keep him off from time to time.
When I decided to study for a Master ís of Visual Communication and Documentary Photography, my husband asked me why. The work field will not bring you money and it is hard to find a line of work that suits you after graduation. I told him immediately that I am doing it for myself and the love of documentary photography. Commercial photography and staged photography was never my thing. It was after I was entrusted with the photographic legacy of my mother when she died away from me. She loved taking photos of us, smiling, dressing up, happy. But that is not everything. Something is missing here. I realized that in documentary, pictures do not preserve our history. They shape it and our memories of it. For this reason, the big picture of our history is not necessarily a resemblance of what really happened in the past.
And so I am opening up my past, or at least a piece of it, for public viewing. This Saturday and Sunday at the Visual Therapy Gallery in the Print Room warehouse in Industrial Shuwaikh. The opening is on Saturday from 6 pm to 9 pm, and the event runs through Sunday from 12 noon to 8 pm.