After the success of its first edition, Visual Therapy, the Kuwait-based artistic initiative created and curated by Shahad Bishara, has once again brought back Alwan, Kuwait’s live art festival that celebrates and inspires art and creativity. This year’s festivity was held at the Marina Crescent on Friday, 6 March.
This annual celebration of public art and creativity, was an open-air live art festival that connected the community to art and culture. It featured some of the most happening artists from around the Middle-East, the US and Spain, in addition to live music and performances by local bands, and art activities for both adults and kids.
The festival featured graffiti artists Nizzy, Bosho, Whale56, Nawaf13, Dochan26, Zouz the Bird and Thuraya Linn from Kuwait, artist Actv8r from San Francisco, USA and artist Skount from Spain. The graffiti artists expressed their unique ideas by creating designs and art on dummy graffiti boards, while the open space at the crescent was abuzz with live music by DJ B, DJ Bonita, and local bands Karrouhat and Galaxy Juice.
Inspired by the classical Spanish theatre of his hometown, Raul ‘Skount’ Garcia Periera’s (a.k.a Skount) dreaming, masked characters took the viewer from the urban environment into their mysterious and playful dreamscapes. At Alwan, he explained his graffiti character's evolution from one universe to the other: "We come from one universe that can be metaphoric; as in – the community, or where we come from, one's culture, religion – which makes a whole universe.
So, when one comes out of that or, when one separates from family, finally, one creates another universe." Although, with a background in street-art, his artistic expression spans from paint, paper, music and performance, to video art, sculpture, and installation.
His latest art exhibition in Kuwait, 'Projections: Searching', which showcases photography along with 11 new works and a short film, too, had an impressive reception in the town.
Meanwhile, Saunders Hildreth (a.k.a ACTV8R), who works in Dubai, wallowed in his piece of art – the face of a kid with glinting eyes that gripped the viewers. He underpinned his character as "a baby who dreams colors." He went on saying, "You will have to see when it is finished, when all the colors come out." Exposed to art ever since he was a small child, Hildreth has been painting with spray-paint for about 15 years now.
Apart from painting live, classic to new style graffiti art for events, he also paints canvass, wood boards, walls, clothing, shoes, hats and other merchandise.
Artist Nawaf described his black and white, mechanical structured art at the festival as "an architectural, 3D graffiti art that shows the power of 3D technique." On the meaning of his art, he said, "It does not convey a message but it presents the bio-mechanical style of art such as the auto-craft and the alien stuff, which was quite a thing in the olden styles (from the 80s) that I simply love since I was a kid."
Nawaf, who has been into graffiti art, made his first public appearance in live art here and has been working on private orders that he receives.
Bosho was hands-on with his spray-painting cans at portraying the face of the lead singer of the alternative-rock band Radiohead, Thom Yorke. When asked what was his art about, he simply responded by saying, "I just like drawing faces. This one is based on him, but I changed it a little."
Even though, the main focus of the event was to create an aesthetic platform for innovative work and ideas in all creative fields, especially street art, it also drew huge crowds, of shoppers, art lovers, kids and all those who love being outdoor, to the bustling Marina crescent.
By Ghazal Praveen/