Coastal Promenade – Art in the time of social change
COASTAL Promenade, an exhibition of photographs by Camille Zakharia, ended on Saturday at Katara. The award-winning visual artist was born in Lebanon and has lived in a list of countries including the United States, Canada, Greece, Turkey and Bahrain. Qatar Tribune’s Ramy Salama caught up with Zakharia on a recent visit to Qatar, to talk to him about the exhibition, and his career thus far.
Excerpts: Q: Tell us a little about ‘Coastal Promenade’ A: Coastal Promenade was a commission for the Bahrain Ministry of Culture, and they wanted something that accurately described the coastline at a time of change. I went on a tour of the coastline, and ‘Coastal Promenade’ is a result of that tour. I was interested in depicting the pulse of the seashore at that time and I tried to give a genuine and honest portrayal of the coastline.
The space is very interesting, and I’m proud of exhibiting at Katara. I talked with the management at Katara, about the possibility of a workshop here later in the year. I hope it will materialise.
Is this your first time in Qatar? This is actually the third project I’ve done here. The first one was in 2006, I showed the Elusive Homelands exhibition at Virginia Commonwealth University Qatar, which was a fantastic exhibition space.
My second exhibition here, in 2010, was organised by the British Council and entitled ‘My father’s house’. It was held at the Souq Waqif art centre, and I did a workshop in conjunction with the exhibition.
Describe your personal and creative journey I left Lebanon in 1985, and I’ve lived in a few places since my departure. At present, I’m living in Bahrain.
Some highlights of my career include a show at the Victoria and Albert Museum in the UK. I was also short-listed for the prestigious Jameel prize in 2009. I exhibited at the Venice Biennale for Architecture in 2010, and the ‘Coastal Promenade’ photographic essay for the exhibition won the golden lion award for the Bahrain Pavillion, which I was very proud to be a part of.
I exhibited at the Canadian Museum of Civilization for a major show entitled ‘The Lands Within Me’ back in 2002, which featured works by 26 Canadian artists of Arab origin.
I showed my work as well at the Musee du quai Branly in Paris, last summer.
I was one of the artists selected for ‘Photoquai 2011’, a biennial exhibition of photography from around the world. I have also exhibited at different smaller art spaces and galleries.