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Uterus sculptures by Damien Hirst on present at Qatar hospital, Arts News & Top Stories

DOHA • Fourteen big bronze sculptures by British artist Damien Hirst graphically charting the moments from conception to start greet sufferers arriving at a US$Eight-billion (S$11-billion) hospital in Gulf state Qatar.

The huge open-air set up, named The Miraculous Journey, reveals a foetus rising within the womb and culminates in a 14m sculpture of a unadorned child simply after start.

The monumental work is the centrepiece of a contemporary artwork assortment on the Sidra Medicine Hospital, formally opened final week in Doha.

“We believe it reflects very much the mission of Sidra, taking care of the healthcare of women and babies,” mentioned Ms Layla Ibrahim Bacha, artwork specialist with the government-supported Qatar Foundation, which owns a lot of the artworks. “I think it’s perfect for the location.”

Among the 65 works on the speciality facility for kids and ladies’s well being are items by high-profile worldwide names and artists from throughout the Arab world, together with Qatar.

A fourth-floor outpatient clinic is adorned with a neon set up titled I Listen To The Ocean And All I Hear Is You by Tracey Emin, considered one of Hirst’s ground-breaking contemporaries from Britain.

Ms Bacha says the artwork was chosen with “very specific themes” in thoughts. “They are not meant to be decorative. They are meant to be creating debates, helping the patient to keep calm,” she mentioned.

Syrian artist Jaber al-Azmeh, whose footage grasp within the hospital, mentioned it makes him “smile” to think about his pictures on show in a spot the place new lives are beginning.

Sidra started receiving its first sufferers in January. Last month, it efficiently performed Qatar’s first operation to separate a pair of conjoined twins.

Energy-rich Qatar has turn into a serious purchaser of latest artwork.

It is in search of to painting itself as one of the progressive states within the area towards the backdrop of a bitter standoff with Gulf rivals led by Saudi Arabia.

But that doesn’t imply there has not been controversy over the Hirst work towering outdoors the hospital.

The sculptures had been initially unveiled in October 2013, however then lined from public view till current weeks.

The official cause was to guard them from ongoing constructing work on the hospital, however they had been hid after a social media outcry.

“We are not expecting everyone to like them. We are not expecting everyone to understand them,” mentioned Ms Bacha. “This is why they are there to create this element of debate, this element of thinking.”

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

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