English Artist in Yemen [Archives:2000/20/Last Page]

May 15 2000

“I traveled a great deal and love the challenge of spotting my subject and setting up my easel in the open air.
My aim is to capture and create something of the distinctive light and colors of every country visited- from Scotland and Cornwall to Venice, from Arabia Felix to Mexico.” Annable Ridly
In London’s West End, at 27 Cork Street behind the Royal Academy of Arts on Piccadilly, an Exhibition of Oil Paintings and Watercolors took place, from 27th March to 1st April. What is interesting is that it featured no less than twelve paintings of Yemen by the British artist, Annable Ridly.
At the two packed Private Views, these were the centers of intense interest, depicting as they did a whole range of human subjects and fascinating locations: the buzz of the fish market by the brightly colored ‘Dhows’ at Al-Hodeidah, gardeners bent double over their work in Old Sanaa, children collecting sorghum near Al-Mahweet, goatherds returning to Bayt Baws, the amazing original highrise dwellings of Shibam with children and goats outside its multicolored doors, a most sacred tomb near Seiyun and the peaceful glory of Mosques at Al-Mahweet-where you see the painter pictured with her friends-and at Qubbat Al Bakiryah in Old Sanaa contrasting starkly with frenzied actively and bobbing fluorescent umbrellas within and without the gates of Bab-al-Yemen.
“At a time when, in recent months, the world’s media have been all too ready to depict and stir trouble, some real but a lot imagined, between Yemen and Britain, how often throughout that exhibition did I hear how those scenes illustrated a wholly different picture, indeed the true picture of everyday life in the Yemen,” Ridly said.
Annable Ridly has visited Yemen for five successive times and savored that unique combination of a kind and welcoming people with open house and ready hospitality, living out their lives among the architectural treasures and sheer natural beauty of one of God’s finest creations. Recently, she has been invited to mount an Exhibition, sponsored by the British Council, of her pictures in the National Gallery at Old Sana’a.
To cement those ever improving relations between the two countries, under the auspices of Halaqa (the Yemen International Cultural Circle) in Sanaa and the British Yemeni Society in London, an Exhibition is planned in early November in the Kufa Gallery in London of paintings of Yemeni Artists and of British Artists like Annable Ridly who have painted in Yemen. It will be a unique opportunity to see Yemen through the eyes of Yemeni Artists in one Exhibition. Plans are also being made to exhibit the paintings of Yemeni Artists in Cardiff, Birmingham and possibly other centers, both before and after the Exhibition in London.
It is worth noting that Riddly has participated in more than 7 group exhibitions and held 3 sole exhibitions, one of which was held in Sana’a in 1998.