Posted on October 06, 2014

Winners of the Create & Inspire 2014 competition from Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and the UK travelled to Brazil last month to experience one of the most colourful cultures in the world, on a creative adventure of a lifetime. The competition was organised by the Crossway Foundation in partnership with Art Jameel and Qatar Museums (QM).

In Brazil, the winning team explored the vibrant landscape and creative scene by collaborating with local arts and social organisations in Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Ouro Preto, Inhotim, Belo Horizonte, Serra do Cipَ, Cachoeira and Salvador. The team began journey in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro where they worked with Gui Mohallem, a Brazilian artist of Lebanese origin, to learn about the basics of photography without a camera and with Brazilian art collective, Ambientes Inflaveis, exploring the use of inflatable structures in an urban environment.

After Rio de Janeiro, the team travelled to Ouro Preto, a former colonial mining town and a Unesco World Heritage Site because of its outstanding baroque architecture. Then they spent two days exploring Inhotim, a contemporary art wonderland set amid 5,000 acres of botanical gardens. The team travelled on to Salvador da Bahia, Brazil’s first colonial capital, visited the Candeal community, took part in a percussion workshop at Pracatum Music School, explored Salvador’s historic centre, Pelourinho, and learnt the basics of capoeira in the riverside town of Cachoeira.

The team returned to Sao Paulo and reviewed their two weeks in Brazil and how their creative process had changed. Over the two days, the team discussed what they had learnt and each winner was asked to present a creative project they had been working on throughout the trip. The trip resulted in some 7,500 photographs documenting locations and activities and eight short film clips released in ‘real time’ during the journey to Brazil. A five-minute film outlining the trip will be released, while an exhibition of artworks produced is planned for November 2015 in the Gulf.

Qatar Airways Baku

Ghassan Al Harbi from Saudi Arabia said: “Being part of Create & Inspire 2014 was a life-changing experience in every sense of the word. What I found particularly interesting, as somebody without formal art education, was to see first-hand how all artists involved in the project see and create differently because of our different artistic practices. It was fascinating listening to everyone’s views.” Sharjah-based sketchbook artist Nasser Al Zayani said: “For the first time, I felt that my sketchbook not only reflected my experiences, but those of others through their interaction with me.”

“Partnering with initiatives such as Create & Inspire lies at the very heart of what Art Jameel believes in: Fostering young artists’ careers; encouraging them to develop talents by exposing them to new experiences; and empowering them to share what they have learnt to enrich their communities back home,” said Fady Jameel, President, Abdul Latif Jameel Community Initiatives International. Safiya Saif Al Hajari, Director, Office of Strategic Cultural Relations, QM, said: “The initiative supports emerging talent by taking the cultural experience beyond the four walls of a museum. We are pleased to be working in partnership with Crossway Foundation for the second consecutive year to act as a cultural instigator for the creation generation.”

Create & Inspire identifies talented young artists in the UK and the Gulf. The initiative is run by British charity, the Crossway Foundation, Art Jameel and QM, and supported by Saudi Aramco, British Council and Etihad Airways.