Seeroo fi al Ardh tells the story of the progress on land, in air and sea and of how humanity has harnessed the available resources to meet its goals. With a simple aim to recognize and honor the spirit of innovation.
"the entire ensemble is like a performance of dancing horses in crystal glass set to the tune of traditional song of horsemanship, chivalry and strength". Quote MF Husain.
The artwork tells its story in kinetic form like a carousel, with motion and dynamic elements;
Five horses cast in Venice from Murano crystal glass, elevating from below the stage and set in motion on a rotating carousel platform. Overhead a bronze sculpture of Abbas ibn Firnas, the Flying Man, reputed in the 9th century to have made one of the earliest recorded attempts at flight. Rising up onto the rotating platform five vintage cars join the carousel. Trencadis or pique assiette a type of broken tile mosaic creates a vibrant and colourful equestrian scene. In synchronicity with the kinetic motion of the carousel music chosen by MF Hussian to evoke horsemanship, chivalry and strength.
Husain passed away before the artwork could be finished however Qatar Foundation were able to ensure that the artists vision could become reality with the completion of the artwork and its pavilion in 2019
It is a show-artwork that combines movement, light, music and art and at its heart the artist’s response to the title of the piece Seeroo fi al ardh “Travel through the earth and observe how He began creation…” (Qur’an 29:20).
MF Husain, born in 1913 was one of the most celebrated and internationally recognised Indian artists of the 20th century. He was renowned for executing bold, vibrantly coloured narrative paintings in a modified Cubist style.
The artwork is housed in 12m high, 46m diameter pavilion, the glazed walls can be opened out to the surrounding landscape. Housed in a basement structure beneath the pavilion building is the kinetic mechanism that powers the carousel and gives the art work its motion. The motion control and automated lighting systems allow the show to run automatically every day for the public.
Each of the horses and cars that revolve on the carousel are tracked with infrared beacons and located by cameras from overhead. The positional data from the cameras is transposed into DMX lighting control signals to adjust the pan, tilt, zoom, focus and iris parameters of the moving head stage lights which follow the moving artworks. A total of 140 spot and Fresnel moving light fixtures illuminate the artwork and are controlled from a programmable DMX lighting console.