Artist Hala Kaiksow weaves together Bahrain’s past and present

An outfit designed by Hala Kaiksow.
Updated 28 August 2018
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Artist Hala Kaiksow weaves together Bahrain’s past and present

  • Making clothes that women can wear with ease is a key aim of the visionary designer

LONDON: Currently on show at London’s Victoria & Albert museum as part of its Jameel Prize 5 exhibition, which runs until Nov. 25, is the striking work of Bahraini artist Hala Kaiksow. Arab News caught up with the designer to learn more about how she incorporates traditional Bahraini craftsmanship into her luxurious contemporary garments.

Making clothes that women can wear with ease is a key aim of the visionary designer.

 “I love fluid, soft garments that complement the body while still being functional. I particularly like jumpsuits or pants that enable a woman to move freely. I use Bahraini national garments but re-contextualize them to suit the needs and lifestyles of women today,” Kaiksow told Arab News.

There is a strong focus on using natural fabrics and processes and then adding a contrasting manmade element in her work.

“We mostly use natural fibers, which we also dye naturally with different plants and trees to achieve the desired colors. I also like to play with manmade materials to juxtapose the natural with the manmade. For (the most recent) collection I used latex, but in a special way as I had the latex embroidered with mother of pearl,” she said.

For Kaiksow, who did her BA in Fine Arts at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts, Boston, and her MA in Collection Design at Polimoda, the renowned Italian fashion institute, the design process has an almost meditative quality.

“For me weaving is almost therapeutic. When I am weaving I enter a meditative state. It’s hours and hours of work just setting up the loom and going back and forth. I try to give the garments soul — something that I think is sadly missing from clothing today.

“We have a throwaway culture, but clothing should not be disposable. It should be like an investment — garments you keep for the rest of your life.”

 


Lights, camera, action for Saudi festival of film

Updated 16 January 2019
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Lights, camera, action for Saudi festival of film

  • The six-day event, organized in association with the King Abdul Aziz Center for World Culture (Ithra), is part of an initiative to recognize and nurture talented filmmakers in the country
  • SASCA chairman and general supervisor of the festival, Omar bin Abdulaziz Al-Saif, said this year’s gathering would include a number of unique programs to support creative young talent

JEDDAH: Up-and-coming filmmakers are being urged to book their places for a popular festival celebrating Saudi’s silver screen.
The Saudi Arabian Society for Culture and Arts (SASCA) in the city of Dammam, has announced the opening of online registration for the fifth Saudi Film Festival to be held in March.
The six-day event, organized in association with the King Abdul Aziz Center for World Culture (Ithra), is part of an initiative to recognize and nurture talented filmmakers in the country.
SASCA chairman and general supervisor of the festival, Omar bin Abdulaziz Al-Saif, said this year’s gathering would include a number of unique programs to support creative young talent while also promoting and developing the Kingdom’s film industry.
Al-Saif told Arab News that one of the main aims of the SASCA was to preserve Saudi culture, and he hoped the event would encourage the exchange of forward-thinking ideas among young movie enthusiasts.
The festival is part of a year-round drive to give filmmakers the opportunity to learn directly from experienced local and international industry experts, while providing them with a stage to showcase their work.
Ithra Director Ali Al-Mutairi said that the festival had a key role to play in developing the Saudi film industry.
Producers and actors will among the delegates at the festival, which will include 10 training workshops and 10 seminars. Omani, Emirati, Kuwaiti and Bahraini movies will be screened during the event and prizes awarded for best narrative, best documentary, best scriptwriting and best student film.