Barrowford artist’s sculpture unveiled in Qatar

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A spectacular piece of sculpture created by a highly-successful Pendle artist has been unveiled – in the Middle East!

Sabah Maghded Bapir, who is known as a calligraphy artist as Sabah Arbilla, sorted the piece of work in Qatar where it has now been officially launched.

Artist Sabah, who has a studio based in Barrowford, was inspired to make a sculpture for Qatar National Day, based on a poem by the founder Shaikh Jassim.

Qatar’s Minister of Municipality and Urban Planning was at the official opening and unveiling of the sculpture on the Corniche at Doha in Qatar.

The stainless steel artwork measures 7.5 metres high including the base and has been unveiled to the people of Qatar in the presence of VIP guests.

The poem’s meaning is: “And among the sultans I stood out; as a lanneret floating over mountain peaks”. In this sculpture it was relevant that calligraphy was used in the form of individual Arabic letters and put together to make up the verse in the poem in this sculpture.

This sculpture is special as it is the first sculpture using the poetry of the founder of Qatar and it is the first public sculpture of this scale for Arbilli.

Mr Steve Kelly, president of Occidental Petroleum Qatar, said: “I would like to take this opportunity to extend our sincere gratitude to Mr Sabah Arbilli, the artist who conceptualised and created this beautiful tribute.

“Without his talents, support and dedication to preserving Qatar’s artistic traditions, this project wouldn’t have been possible. We look forward to the rich discussion that Sabah’s sculpture will surely inspire in the years to come, with this unique fusion of calligraphy, history, poetry and sculpture.”

Sabah said: “I am deeply honoured as an artist to contribute my sculpture in the Qatar National Day celebrations. As an artist I was inspired by a particular verse and its meaning from an exhibition I did last year based on Sheikh Jassim’s poetry. This particular verse inspired me to design the sculpture.

“Art is a universal dialogue which is shared with an audience capturing the beauty and form within each piece. This piece celebrates culture, history and captivates and draws the viewers to its presence.

“Qatar is very much an internationally-growing country and it is attributes like this which make it more cosmopolitan on a global map. Being British, I feel I am representing the UK overseas. “

Currently, Sabah is exhibiting in Qatar at the Souk Waqif Arts centre with his exhibition “RADDA” (Return), and is showcasing works in Kuwait with his new collection.

In the past, he has been photographed at an exhibition in London chatting to Prince Charles! And last year, along with another successful Pendle international artists, Shahida Ahmed, he exhibited as Washington in the USA.