The experiential installations reflect and highlight architectural features of the palace’s corners, windows and gypsum wall decorations as spaces that hold and embody memories in their own right. Through her technique of printing on glass, Al Khulaifi creates intimate, localised spaces that evoke nostalgia, leading to the exploration of the hidden details that are amplified by the artist’s positioning of the transparencies and images. These installations evoke a sense of familiarity with the interior spaces that supersedes any one point in time. Through studying an image, the past becomes present; Al Khulaifi's work becomes an evocative experience specific to its designated space and place.
The exhibition consists of installations that artist Shaha Al Khulaifi has created specifically for the Al Rayyan Palace, calling on her experience in interpreting and investigating architectural spaces through the medium of photography. In her work, the artist observes and records the intricate layers of the architectonic environment, the impact of rapid urban growth, and the contemporary experience of the people living in a changing and developing city.
The gypsum engravings were architectural gestures with abstract motifs common in the GCC in the 1950s and have been used as embellishments and decorative elements.
The engravings were added at a later date by artisans from Fars, who were invited to decorate the palaces and fortresses in the mid-20th century. The Al Rayyan area – named after the abundance of water in the land – had fertile soil and environmental elements facilitating the molding of these ornamental features.
The Spaces In Between is curated by Maryam Hassan Al-Thani. It is part of the larger Contemporary Heritage project where sites of cultural importance are activated by artists Hadeer Omar at the Al Koot Fort and Mashael Al Hejazi at the Al Najada House.
Initiated and organised by Tasweer, this installation is made possible through the partnership with the Private Engineering Office.