Najla Alkhalifa, Dilmun Paradise, from ‘The Land Where The Sun Rises’ - 45th Bahrain Annual Fine Arts Exhibition. Courtesy of the artist.
In this issue, we go back to basics and review definitions of frequently (or infrequently) words in the art world while referencing art from the MENASA region.

IN THE FOLLOWING ARTICLES, YOU’LL DISCOVER AN ALPHABETICAL LIST OF ART-RELATED WORDS PAIRED WITH ARTWORKS THAT BEST ILLUSTRATE EACH WORD’S MEANING. ALL WORKS ARE BY MIDDLE EASTERN ARTISTS WHO HAVE LEFT AN INDELIBLE IMPRINT UPON THE INTERNATIONAL ART SCENE.

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VENUS

Popular female subject of renaissance painting by Sandro Botticelli (The Birth of Venus, c. 1485), depicting a nude woman floating on a seashell by the sea. Venus is regarded in Western art history as the feminine image of love and an ideal of beauty.

VIGNETTE

A short scene that captures a moment to give an impression idea, character, setting, mood, object or other element.

Mays Albeik, Moments of a Home iii. 2015. Burlap, Newspapers, Framed photograph. Multiple Dimensions. Courtesy of the artist.
Mays Albeik, Moments of a Home iii. 2015. Burlap, Newspapers, Framed photograph. Multiple Dimensions. Courtesy of the artist.

Mays Albeik, Moments of a Home ii. 2015. Wheelbarrow, cinder blocks, candles, framed photograph. Multiple Dimensions. Courtesy of the artist.

VIRTUAL REALITY (VR)

Term used to describe a simulated 3D, computer-generated environment, based on real or imagined events explored and experienced by an individual. Within this environment and whilst there, the person can manipulate objects or perform a series of actions.

VIRTUAL REALITY
This is a virtual reality art piece that begins as a wall of Dilmun ruins, decorated with ancient Dilmun seals. The ruins were painted using different shades of brown and beige. Behind the ruin’s walls is a depiction of an ancient Dilmun paradise, painted in the ancient art style of Dilmun reliefs, seals and artefacts. Once thought to be the location of the original Garden of Eden, this ancient paradise has been written about in old cuneiform tablets describing its purity and complete harmony with nature. I have chosen to highlight and depict these poetic elements that describe ancient Dilmun: paradise, land of the living, a land that has “twin waters,” etc. “The land of Dilmun is Holy, the Land of Dilmun is Pure” is a line of poem from a cuneiform tablet that dates to 2000 BC. The title of this piece, The Land Where The Sun Rises, is also a line of poem from cuneiform tablets describing the land of Dilmun. Although some of these elements can be seen as mythological today, I aspired to capture these descriptions in a more substantial way through virtual reality: the feeling of experiencing these descriptions within my VR installation. This piece is meant to combine the old and the new: the ancient art style of Dilmun through the modern (and somewhat futuristic) medium of virtual reality.

Najla Alkhalifa, Dilmun Paradise, from ‘The Land Where The Sun Rises’ - 45th Bahrain Annual Fine Arts Exhibition. Courtesy of the artist.

Najla Alkhalifa, Dilmun Paradise, from ‘The Land Where The Sun Rises’ – 45th Bahrain Annual Fine Arts Exhibition. Courtesy of the artist.
Najla Alkhalifa, Dilmun Ruins, from ‘The Land Where The Sun Rises’ - 45th Bahrain Annual Fine Arts Exhibition. Courtesy of the artist.
Najla Alkhalifa, Dilmun Ruins, from ‘The Land Where The Sun Rises’ – 45th Bahrain Annual Fine Arts Exhibition. Courtesy of the artist.

 


A VERSION OF THIS ARTICLE APPEARED IN PRINT IN SELECTIONS, ART GLOSSARY #52 PAGE 142-145.

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