The Nest in Block 338

Popular outdoor marketplace Market 338 is back with a new name Discuss this article

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Popular outdoor marketplace Market 338 is back this year with a new name and a focus on sustainability. We find out more from the team about their fresh concept, ‘The Nest’.

Back in 2010, the first ever Market 338 was held by Al Riwaq Art Space. Its aim has always been to not only promote and encourage budding artisans here but also to boost Bahrain’s design culture, spark creative ideas and discussions, and provide a platform for artistic minds to meet. Since then, it’s become one of the most anticipated events on the annual art calendar and this year is no exception as they strive to start conversations about conservation. The Al Riwaq team tells us more...

Where did the inspiration for the concept of ‘The Nest’ come from?
We realised a lack of attention to greenery and nature in general in our urban areas. We feel this is a shame as Bahrain was filled with greenery not too long ago, and has been moving towards the traditional ‘concrete jungle’ image over time. ‘The Nest’ aims to bring nature alongside the natural development and progression of the country.

What about the name?
Al Riwaq has always been a hub for artists, designers and the creative community. Where they can gain exposure and build connections and Market 338 is an extension of that. We felt ‘The Nest’ was appropriate as it reflects the fact that we are building a place where new designers and entrepreneurs can grow and develop, and at the same time it’s recognising nature and promoting sustainability through new and original ideas.

Why are themes of sustainability important to you as an art space?
Art is a main form of expressing society’s unspoken voice. Even though environmental issues and the concept of sustainability is not exactly a new topic, we feel that Bahrain still has ways to go and can do a lot to implement these ideas. This falls on everyone, not just the authorities. Our aim as a non-profit organisation is to use art as a platform to engage the community and present new ideas.

What are you hoping to achieve?
‘The Nest’ isn’t just about growing plants and making our urban area look pretty. It’s more about creating awareness about the importance of sustainability and the responsibility that all of us have. The Nest is a place where all visitors and participants can learn from one another, be it something simple such as planting seeds or more complex like responsible and sustainable building and permaculture.

We want to make a change and spark a movement that will spread throughout the country. We hope that it will influence the youth and community to move towards bringing back beautiful greenery to our island and be more sustainable by using innovative methods in their day-to-day lives. We want to achieve all of these things alongside our main aim of exposing and developing local creativity and talent.

What kinds of businesses and artists will we find at the market?
The Nest will host a wide and colourful variety of handpicked vendors. This includes hand crafted works of art, fashion, plants, product design, jewellery, accessories, and culinary products to name a few. Among these stalls, you can also find different artistic installations with individual approaches related to our theme.

How will you be introducing the idea of permaculture?
Permaculture is a large topic. To put it briefly, it involves observing and understanding nature in order to design sustainable systems. We will artistically and consciously transform the area. The way we go about building using sustainable methods and planting using recycled pots, for example, is all a part of permaculture. We plan on introducing the concept through community involvement via workshops and educational infographics, as well as using the actual design and construction of The Nest as an example.

Please tell us more about the ‘Greenhouse’, ‘Patch’ and ‘Botanical Garden’ concepts…
The ‘Greenhouse’ is where we will allocate new, startup businesses and designs, with the aim of getting them exposed and allowing them to grow. The ‘Patch’ will represent the already established businesses that we feel relate to our theme. The ‘Botanical Garden’ will feature exhibitions and installations inside our gallery.

Can everyone actually plant seeds throughout the event?
Yes, while we will be hosting workshops for children, adults will also be able to learn how to plant, grow and take care of plants.

How do you think The Nest and other outdoor market concepts in Bahrain, like Bab Market, have helped boost artists’ careers over the past few years?
These concepts act as invaluable platforms with the main focus of giving exposure and creating connections. It gives the artists a chance to meet with, get involved with, and learn from the local, as well as the international design community. Apart from aiming to develop artists, they also teach artists how to further develop themselves.

By Time Out Bahrain staff
Time Out Bahrain,

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