Fida Alhussan draws the line

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Updated 05 June 2013
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Fida Alhussan draws the line

Fida Alhussan is a Saudi Artist who began her art career by drawing caricatures of age fourteen, moving from one form of art to the next, until she became a Pop Art painter and participated with her paintings in a number of exhibitions until her message reached various countries of the world from east to west, which is “to find the identity that expresses her generation away from repetition of the old identity.” Arab News conducted an interview with the artist to learn more about her art and its purpose.
When did you discover your artistic talent?
Since childhood I had always been busy in creating something new so I drew my friends and my teachers at school and perfected the art of caricatures. Then I moved on to the building things, so I built a small house in the garden, took a radio and distributed its speakers around the little house, then I would create and direct films, starring my relatives and my friends. In fact, since I was a child I did not express myself just in one direction, and never thought that art is confined to a paintbrush and canvas.”

What were the first steps toward realizing your art career?
When I stopped working in a safe mode, I have been able to do what I like without thinking too much, and realized that humans do not all conform and love the same thing, and that fear of rejection is what was holding me back, and I inspired many around me to do what I do. What I noticed recently some of the artists they are trying to ask questions about the quality of art and how I am doing and they want to work with me.
I find that some artists are now trying to work in this same type of art, wanting to know how I do it, because I have steered from the safety zone, and started being more adventurous in my vision as an artist.”

From where do you get your inspiration for your drawings and paintings?
My emotions are my first source of inspiration and motivation and play a major role during the work process. Every piece of my work tells the psychological state I live in or enter myself in at that moment. My emotions control me and my paintings reflect that; for sometimes I paint while jumping for joy and happiness, and other times I paint with sadness and negative feelings. In summery, I take advantage of the outpour of my feelings and use them in my artwork.”

I’ve noticed in your drawings an amalgamation of several cultures and you integrate them into a single piece of artwork, how do you do that?
I am often jealous of those countries which own colors, have a sense of belonging and proud of what they have of culture and heritage. I hope there is an identity that reflects my generation that is neither a replica, a trite mixture or vulgar. I try to incorporate that spirit enjoyed by my generation; we travel and study and therefore different from others and yet are similar to them at the same time. All I want to do is show that we are proud of what we have, but in a new manner, away from the display of pictures of the past and glorifying it, but rather glorification of what we are now and what we’ll be in the future. As for the integration of cultures, the goal is to give the sense that we are all similar, and By doing so, I show affiliation in the right place as well as address those distorted images of Arabs that they are about are camels, deserts and women seeking their rights outside the mirage.”

What are your other talents as an artist?
In the past I drew political and social caricatures, but following the news and stories of the community caused me permanent fatigue and angst, which ironically helps to produce those caricatures. but I decided to shift from trying to reform society and criticizing it, to self-reform which has a greater impact and is more positive.”

What exhibitions have participated in locally or internationally?
I participated in the exhibition of art and fashion for a design magazine and won an award for best graphic designer, then participated in Pop Shop Fair at Harvey Nichols, and I intend to display my work in a number of exhibitions locally. As yet I have not participated in international exhibitions, I never thought to show my work outside the scope of the Gulf, but I do not mind the idea. ” Actually a lot of French, British and expatriates like to buy my paintings, and that makes me happy. What I wish now is to find that contemporary new identity that reflects my generation, and not one that lives in the ruins of the past.”

What is your latest venture?
I shall participate in an exhibition starting 07.05.2013 for several days, and later my paintings will be sent to Kuwait. I am currently working on new paintings, but they are still work in progress.

Email: [email protected]


World-famous Italian opera house orchestra debuts in Saudi Arabia

Updated 3 min 20 sec ago
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World-famous Italian opera house orchestra debuts in Saudi Arabia

  • Organized by the Saudi Culture Ministry, “An Italian Opera Journey” took place at the King Fahd Cultural Center
  • The Kingdom’s first opera house will be built in Jeddah, and is scheduled for completion in 2022

RIYADH: Residents in Riyadh were treated on Friday to some of the best that Italian opera had to offer, with a performance by the symphony orchestra of the Teatro Alla Scala Academy, which made its debut in Saudi Arabia.

La Scala is one of the most famous opera houses in the world, dating back almost 250 years. 

The academy offers world-class training in all disciplines of symphony, opera and ballet, under the supervision of famous musicians. 

Organized by the Saudi Culture Ministry, “An Italian Opera Journey” took place at the King Fahd Cultural Center. 

Only registration was required to attend the free event, which sold out almost instantly, with 3,000 music lovers, artists and poets enjoying an hour of beautiful tributes to classical music.

The show opened with a surprise performance of the Kingdom’s national anthem by Saudi opera singer Sawsan Al-Bahiti, who received a standing ovation for her rendition. 

Al-Bahiti was invited by the ministry to perform at the event as part of its efforts to showcase national talents.

The orchestra was conducted by maestro Pietro Mianetti, and featured performances by soprano Francisca Manzo and tenor Ricardo Della Sciucca. 

Some of the most iconic pieces from 19th-century Italian opera were performed. 

At the end of the show, a standing ovation led to an encore.

Deputy Culture Minister Hamed Fayez took to Twitter to express how much he enjoyed the evening. 

“A beautiful night spent with the esteemed La Scala opera at the King Fahd Cultural Center in Riyadh, amidst a wonderful crowd, with an exceptional performance from our Italian guests,” he tweeted, posting photos. The performance is one of the ministry’s efforts to attract high-quality artistic events that enrich the Saudi cultural landscape and enhance quality of life. 

The Kingdom’s first opera house will be built in Jeddah, and is scheduled for completion in 2022. 

The institution aims to become the new home of a Saudi resident orchestra. 

The Kingdom has also seen the opening of a music institute by famed Egyptian violinist Mahmoud Sorour, with a second music institute in the works.