Kingdom’s Athr Gallery shines at Art Dubai

Kingdom’s Athr Gallery shines at Art Dubai
Updated 01 April 2013

Kingdom’s Athr Gallery shines at Art Dubai

Kingdom’s Athr Gallery shines at Art Dubai

Over four days this month artists and art lovers alike had gathered in the United Arab Emirates for what is considered the Middle East’s biggest art fair— Art Dubai.
In its seventh edition this year, Art Dubai hosted 75 galleries from 30 different countries showcasing the creative and artistic work of 500 artists. Saudi Arabia was represented by Athr Gallery.
Established in 2009, Jeddah-based Athr Gallery focuses on contemporary art promoting the work of emerging as well as established Saudi artists. In its second participation in Art Dubai, Athr Gallery curated a booth with the title “The Only Constant.” As the name might imply, “The Only Constant” focuses on change and impermanence in Arabia; a region noted with its rapid and continuous transformation. The well curated booth featured the work of six Saudi artists; namely Ayman Yossri Daydban, Hazem Harb, Ahmed Mater, Nasser Al-Salem, Sami Al-Turki and Saddek Wasil.
Palestinian-born Jordanian/Saudi Ayman Yossri Daydban reflects on his multicultural identity through his “Subtitles Concept” and “Flag Concept” projects. Another Palestinian-born artist is Hazem Harb. In his “Beyond Memory Concept” project, Hazem focuses on the Palestinian-Israeli struggle artistically playing with the separation wall as a metaphor for human endurance, survival and isolation.
The Abha-born general practitioner turned multi-artist (photographer, calligrapher, and painter) Ahmed Mater rocked the stage with his breathtaking photographs. Ahmed’s ongoing project titled “The Desert of Pharan” focuses on documenting change as it grabs the holy city of Makkah. Construction is becoming an ongoing matter in Makkah driving change on economic as well as social fronts. Ahmed’s work was widely acclaimed by the Art Dubai visitors, “These are some of the best photographs I had ever seen of Makkah; simply phenomenal” said Jonathan, one of the fair visitors.
Another widely acclaimed photographic work is that of Sami Al-Turki. The half Saudi, half Irish artist showcased a collection of artistically composited photographs called “Barzakh.” A state of in between, as the word means in Arabic, Barzakh plays on the hiatus in between two states by depicting buildings still in the construction phase. The artistic touch, however, is that the various buildings appear with a water-like reflection and look as if suspended midst beautiful skies. Sami’s work reflects on the artist’s sophisticated experience of finding an emotional and physical need for a home.
Straying away from photography and photography based artistic installations; Makkah calligrapher Nasser Al-Salem showcased various pieces of art mixing calligraphy with the artist’s architecture background.
Another Makkah artist is Sadek Wasil. The renowned sculptor had had his work exhibited across the globe from International Art Biennale in Dakar, Senegal, to the Shanghai Expo at the Duolon Museum of Modern Art, China. Sadek works mainly with metal and discarded metallic material shaping them into powerful sculptures tackling man versus material subjugation struggle.
As expected, Art Dubai 2013 has been a success story for the participating galleries as well as the artists. Now everybody is eyeing, with impatience, the eighth edition of the art fair. See you in 2014.