Painting for peace

Ambika Shaligram
Thursday, 4 April 2019

Aryan Shere’s painting has been selected as Oman’s postage stamp. The 15-year-old, who is currently residing in Bahrain, tells us more about his artwork

The internet generation might find a visit to the post office a quixotic adventure. After all, who posts a personal letter to friends, families these days? The email does the trick! And, for the millennial with a smartphone, Snapchat makes it easy to communicate with friends.

But, here’s a 15-year-old lad whose painting has been selected as the postage stamp for Oman. Definitely, a matter of pride for Aryan Shere and his parents, who are currently based in Bahrain.

It was in 2016, when Aryan was studying in British School, Muscat, when he learnt about the painting competition — ‘Call for Peace: Children of the World Unite in Oman - Painting for Peace’. It was organised by Values Center, a government organisation, and held at the Muscat Grand Mall on May 9, 2016 where 160 participants from 65 countries of various schools across the city demonstrated their work in a live painting event. And just last month, Aryan, who represented India, learnt that his painting done in shades of blue, white and black, has been selected as Oman’s postage stamp.

Aryan, who is currently studying in St Christopher’s School in Kingdom of Bahrain, says, “I like to paint in soft pastels, charcoal and acrylic medium in bright colours like Persian blue, turquoise, ultra marine and scarlet.” 

For the prize winning painting of peace, Aryan says, that he wanted to depict the symbol of peace subtly, something that is reflected in our beliefs and in our day to day life. “In today’s world where there’s so much negativity around, a bright spark that signifies happiness, purity and cheerfulness still exists. I wanted to capture this in my painting,” says the Std X boy, who was seven when he won his first painting competition held in Qatar. 

Talking about the colour combination, he says, “Blue colour in many cultures symbolises peace, whereas white means purity, perfection and successful beginning. I have used Persian blue colour that looks like black. Black is typically associated with the unknown or the negative. I have drawn colourful birds who are the first one to wake up, they rise with the dawn. They tell us that the night, dark hours have passed away, and  we have to make a new beginning. The white colour represents the beginning.”

Aryan feels that he was lucky to have won the contest, amongst 160 participants.  The teenager describes Oman as “extremely beautiful country”. “It has beaches, deserts and high mountains. There are many parts of Oman that look like Leh and Ladakh of India. In my opinion, Oman has always tried to usher in peace in the region and all around the world,” he says.
Dr Saleh Al Fahdi, Head of Value Center, Muscat commented in his letter to Aryan, ‘We are delighted to send congratulations to your school and particularly to Aryan Shere the artist, for such a beautiful painting. There were over 160 paintings, so this is indeed an exceptional, excellent image that so clearly depicts Oman’s dedication to world peace.”

Aryan was honoured for his work at a prestigious ceremony ‘Oman - Icon of Peace & Beauty Event’ held Al Bashaer Palace last week under the patronage of HE Khalid bin Omar Al Marhoon, Minister of Civil Service.

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