Expatriate artists in Jeddah seek support to showcase their work

Updated 14 April 2014
0

Expatriate artists in Jeddah seek support to showcase their work

Several expat artists in Jeddah said that gallery owners had refused to display their art works due to the need for special licenses. However, some gallery owners agree to showcase their work but for a very high price.
“Gallery owners have refused to showcase my work saying that expat artists must have a special license to do so,” Huda Al-Remi, a Yemeni artist told Arab News, adding that she had several pieces of art but there was no support for her.
Meanwhile, the rents for exhibition halls in Jeddah have soared to more than SR10,000 a week as owners seek to share in the profits made by artists selling their work.
Some gallery owners demand as much as 30 percent of the profits as a precondition to allowing the use of their halls although the price of any one exhibit does not exceed SR20,000. In fact, artists are often unable to sell their paintings and face difficulties in paying the rent of the exhibition hall.
However, many public relations firms organize art galleries with huge advertising plans in prime exhibition sites in Jeddah require at least SR1 million for undertaking such an endeavor while other artists have monthly contracts with PR companies to organize art galleries for SR5,000 per month.
“There are also minimal requirements for developing any art gallery, such as strategic marketing, social media and public relations. Such services multiply the costs of organizing an art gallery. Artists require huge capital to be able to showcase their work with such a return on investment,” Rana Darweesh, a consultant in art investments, told Arab News.
“Jeddah is the most popular city in the Kingdom for art activities. However, the success of art galleries depends on the names of the artists who participate in these galleries.
Art gallery visitors who are likely to buy such paintings often have enough of a background of the 14 art methodologies and as such, are able to evaluate paintings and put a proper price tag on them for purchase,” Abdullah Saad, an artist told Arab News.
Auctions held in art galleries to sell art work still need more circulation among art gallery organizers in the Kingdom, Saad said.
“Some art galleries in Jeddah have been implementing the auction strategy for the past 2 years. However, the turnout of visitors to such events remains low,” he added.


Iraq says goodbye to its beloved archaeologist Al-Gailani

Updated 21 January 2019
0

Iraq says goodbye to its beloved archaeologist Al-Gailani

  • Al-Gailani was one of Iraq’s first women to excavate the country’s archaeological heritage
  • After the US-led invasion, Al-Gailani continued to travel to Iraq, determined to rescue its heritage even as the country convulsed with war

BAGHDAD: Iraq on Monday mourned the loss of Lamia Al-Gailani, a beloved archaeologist who helped rebuild the Baghdad museum after it was looted following the 2003 US-led invasion to oust Saddam Hussein.
Al-Gailani, who died in Amman, Jordan, on Friday at the age of 80, was one of Iraq’s first women to excavate the country’s archaeological heritage.
Relatives, colleagues, and cultural officials on Monday gathered at Baghdad’s National Museum, the country’s leading museum, to pay their respects before moving her remains to the Qadiriyyah mosque for prayers and later interment.
A devotee of her country’s heritage, Al-Gailani lent her expertise to restore relics stolen from the museum for its reopening in 2015. She also championed a new antiquities museum for the city of Basra, which opened in 2016.
“She was very keen to communicate on the popular level and make archaeology accessible to ordinary people,” said her daughter, Noorah Al-Gailani, who curates the Islamic civilizations collection at the Glasgow Museum in Scotland.
“It is a big loss, the passing of Dr. Lamia Al-Gailaini, who played a great role in the field of archaeology, even before 2003,” said the deputy minister of culture, Qais Hussein Rashid.
The restored collection at the National Museum included hundreds of cylinder seals, the subject of Al-Gailani’s 1977 dissertation at the University of London. These were engraved surfaces used to print cuneiform impressions and pictographic lore onto documents and surfaces in ancient Mesopotamia, now present-day Iraq.
Still, thousands of artefacts remain missing from the museum’s collection, and Al-Gailani bore the grief of watching her country’s rich heritage suffer unfathomable levels of looting and destruction in the years after Saddam’s ouster.
“I wish it was a nightmare and I could wake up,” she told the BBC in 2015, when Daesh militants bulldozed relics at the ancient Assyrian city of Nimrud near present-day Mosul.
Born in Baghdad in 1938, Al-Gailani studied at the University of Cambridge in Britain before finding work as a curator at the National Museum in 1960. It was her first job in archaeology, her daughter said.
She returned to Britain in 1970 to pursue advanced studies, and she made her home there. Still, she kept returning to her native country, connecting foreign academics with an Iraqi archaeological community that was struggling under the isolation of Saddam Hussein’s autocratic rule and the UN sanctions against him.
In 1999, she published “The First Arabs,” in Arabic, with the Iraqi archaeologist Salim Al-Alusi, on the earliest traces of Arab culture in Mesopotamia, in the 6th through 9th centuries.
She would bring copies of the book with her to Baghdad and sell them through a vendor on Mutanabbi Street, the literary heart of the capital, according to her daughter.
After the US-led invasion, Al-Gailani continued to travel to Iraq, determined to rescue its heritage even as the country convulsed with war.
At the time of her death, she was working with the Basra Museum to curate a new exhibit set to open in March, said Qahtan Al-Abeed, the museum director.
“She hand-picked the cylinder seals to display at the museum,” said Al-Abeed.