Collection: Zayn Qahtani

Zayn Qahtani is a Bahraini multidisciplinary artist based in London. Her work sways between what is seen and what is felt, compiling a personal mythology along the way. Drawing on ancient cultures and nature’s diverse ecosystems, Zayn forms visual stories which seem to exist in the twilight zone - too distorted to be real, too familiar to be a dream.

Her current practice explores the concept of aminism, the gift-giving of a living soul to inanimate objects. Seeing the act of creation and destruction as an alchemical ritual, Zayn often works with materials borne of reincarnated sources. Pigments from plants and minerals, recycled bioplastics and papers borne of trees, weave together with spells of poetry and pain in an unorthodox dance, binding each object with a life of its own.

Zayn Qahtani, by Madeleine Pollard

When Zayn Qahtani was younger, she couldn’t decide whether she wanted to be an artist or an archeologist. Never one to settle, she turned this dilemma into a dance, integrating archeological thinking into her artistic practice. Spanning painting, drawing and sculpture, Zayn’s work is about the excavation of the imagination, of ancient cultures, and of her own emotions. Attuned to nature’s ecosystems, she works intimately with the earth itself, hand-making her own paints from plants and minerals and utilising recycled materials. Her style of visual storytelling is dynamic and multisensory; a process of delving deep before bringing things to light.

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Zayn Qahtani (b. 1997, Bahrain) is based between Manama, BH and London, UK. She recently studied on The Drawing Intensive at The Royal Drawing School, London, UK, and holds a BA in Fashion Design from The Royal University for Women, BH (2019). Awards include the YSA ‘21 Selected Artist + Honorary Grant from ATHR Gallery, SA (2021).

She has exhibited internationally with galleries and institutions including Arusha Gallery, Edinburgh, UK; Fortnight Institute, New York City, USA; MIA Art Collection, Dubai, UAE; Wilder Gallery, London, UK; The Tub, London, UK; Purslane Art, London, UK; ATHR Gallery, Jeddah, SA; Jewellery Arabia 2021, BH; Gallery BAWA, Kuwait; Vitrine, London.

Her work is held in public collections including Soho House and The Ned, and has been in publications such as Art Maze Magazine and Vogue Arabia.

→ Exhibition view, 'Chorus' at Arusha Gallery

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