Fida Alhussan draws the line

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Updated 05 June 2013

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]

KSA’s Eastern Province residents welcome Sharqiah Season visitors from far and wide

Updated 19 March 2019

KSA’s Eastern Province residents welcome Sharqiah Season visitors from far and wide

  • The Sharqiah Seasonfeatures over 80 events in cities acrossf the Kingdom's Eastern Province
  • Events in the upcoming weekends feature sports events as as well as concerts

RIYADH: Residents of the Eastern Province are no strangers to foreign visitors — the nation’s oil heartland has been welcoming them for years. But more have been arriving with the opening of Sharqiah Season, featuring over 80 events across the region’s cities.

Organized as a collaborative effort by the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage alongside the General Entertainment Authority, the General Culture Authority and the General Sports Authority, it is the first of 11 scheduled festivals planned across the country in 2019.

Faisal Al-Rayisi, an employee at King Fahd International Airport in Dammam, told Arab News he was surprised by the number of people arriving for the festival. 

“People are not only coming from Saudi Arabia, but from all over the Gulf as well — Kuwait and the UAE in particular,” he said. “I’ve even seen foreigners from Europe and Asia coming through. Time was, we used to go to Dubai for our entertainment, but now people from Dubai are coming to us.”

He also mentioned how happy he was to see the festivities coming to the Eastern Province. “Jeddah has this slogan, ‘Jeddah is different,’ but now that we’re seeing the first Sharqiah Season in our region, and all of these amazing activities and concerts are happening here, I think we can safely say ‘Sharqiah is different’ now.”

The Sharqiah festival aims to deliver an extensive entertainment experience for both Saudis and visitors to the Kingdom.

The festival features events in Eastern Province cities, including Dammam, Dhahran, Alkhobar, Al-Ahsa and Jubail. Future seasons will focus on different areas of Saudi Arabia, with different entertainment options for each city. Upcoming seasons will focus on different areas, and also different parts of the year, such as Ramadan, Eid Al-Fitr and Eid Al-Adha.

Turki Al-Sheikh, chairman of the General Entertainment Authority, said in a statement that  the organization’s participation in the festival aligns with its goal of improving the quality of life in the Kingdom, and discovering local talent in various entertainment industries.  

He also highlighted the importance of the entertainment sector and its contribution to the economy and the creation of jobs for locals, all important aspects of Vision 2030.

The opening night of Sharqiah Season on Thursday drew crowds of Saudis to the Alkhobar Corniche, despite strong winds and sprinklings of rain earlier in the day. Groups of friends stopping to take selfies and families with young children in tow wandered through the Entertainment Boulevard, lined with food stalls selling karak and koshari.

Earlier in the day, the mega event began with the opening of an exhibit featuring the work of Leonardo da Vinci at the King Abdul Aziz Center for World Culture (Ithra). 

The exhibit showcased some of Da Vinci’s original sketches, with several screens showing videos detailing how his designs have continued to inspire scientists and inventors in the modern era.

Sharqiah Season continues until March 30, with upcoming weekends featuring sports events such as the Red Bull Air Race and the Formula 1 H20 boat race, as well as concerts in Dammam featuring Akon, Deadmau5, Pitbull and French Montana.