Celebrate football through art

* Qatar resident Rozario’s Grassroots Football Painting project illustrates football’s heritage through 100 coffee and watercolor paintings

As Qatar moves forward with the final preparations for the first-ever FIFA World Cup in the Arab world, a Qatari resident is on a mission to creatively welcome the mega-event.
Doha-based Malaysian artist Patric Rozario is poised to give the World Cup a fitting tribute with his Grassroots Football Painting series.
“We make art to tell stories. My World Cup project, Grassroots Football, is about telling stories about the beautiful game,” Rozario told the Gulf Times. The project includes 100 paintings depicting football and the artist chose to use coffee and watercolors to illustrate the legacy and beauty of the game.
“I wanted to keep the memory of football intact in a different and creative way. My paintings are scenes of nostalgia and grassroots football. It all started here – in the alleys, villages, rice paddies and favelas,” explains Rozario.

Through the paintings, the artist hopes to make millions of people see, identify, appreciate and recognize the ordinary people and places where football is played.
Rozario started the mission in December last year and has completed 98 paintings. By the end of June 2022 he wants to finish 100 paintings.
Rozario, who sees football as a peace-building tool, says sport, particularly football, has long been idealized as a way to heal wounds, mend fences and transcend differences between cultures and nations.
“Football is enjoyed by all, with a reach that is second to none. It promotes universal values ​​that go beyond language and culture. At the grassroots or community level, sport can be seen as a useful way to create an environment where people can come together to work toward the same goal, show respect for others, and share space and equipment,” he said.
Rozario uses coffee for painting because he perceives it as a natural dye. “I have paintings that I created 10 years ago. They still look as fresh as when I painted them. I like to include the topic of “sustainability” in my work. Coffee comes in different shades of brown, from very light brown to almost black. It’s a versatile medium. Coffee images have a sepia look. The World Cup is unique in many ways, with the nature of the opportunities and challenges related to sustainability being no exception,” he said.
Sometimes it takes 8-10 days to finish a painting while some paintings are finished in a single day. “I paint every day, even when I’m traveling. There are times when I need to revisit a painting and readjust certain things. I work between six and eight hours a day,” he said.
Each painting, he said, will be framed and accompanied with its narration in English and Arabic. Rozario believes that the Grassroots Football Painting project will last long after the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 is over. “I may continue to be involved with the Grassroots Football project and highlight various social issues. I want to be associated with World Football Heritage,” he said.
The artist came to Qatar in 2005 and worked as Senior Creative Officer for The Pearl Island project. Now he is a full-time artist. His main works consist of precious stones, pearls and crystals. Coated with resin, these works are suitable as paintings or panels for interiors.
As an artist, Rozario likes to communicate through the visual and tactile medium. “It’s no secret that the art world has always had a very strong social undercurrent. For centuries, artists, dealers and collectors have reveled in being part of cultural dialogue or partaking in the perceived splendor of the art world,” he explained.
Recently, Rozario was invited by the Malaysian Ambassador to Qatar, Zamshari bin Shaharan, who was briefed on the Grassroots Football Painting project, and the envoy wrote to Princess Rani Vanouska T. Modely, Founder and President of Football World Heritage, to credit this project support is one of his advisors.

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