Five female Gulf artists highlight Jeddah’s art scene

Five female Gulf artists highlight Jeddah’s art scene
Hala Al-Khalifa — She wore her scars like wings
Updated 02 February 2017

Five female Gulf artists highlight Jeddah’s art scene

Five female Gulf artists highlight Jeddah’s art scene

JEDDAH: Art lovers can mark their calendars, as the contemporary art scene in Jeddah is about to get busy starting Thursday.
An exhibition entitled “And Along Came Polyester” is opening at Athr art platform, based at Serafi Mega Mall’s office towers, featuring five solo presentations by female artists from the Gulf.
The exhibition, alongside two others opening on the same day, is part of the 21,39 Jeddah Arts non-profit initiative organized by the Saudi Art Council.
“This is the first time to host five women from the (Gulf) region to present at Athr,” Leila Evangelista, one of the organizers at Athr, told Arab News.
“The story behind the title of the exhibition is that polyester is a material derivative from oil. Oil has been the main source of economic strength in the area from which the artists come.” 
The artists express their personal reflections of economic, domestic, architectural, nostalgic and cathartic processes and fluxes within their work.
“They and their observed surroundings are a result of a singular discovery that affected their already constantly shifting geopolitical, socioeconomic and religious communities,” Evangelista said.
From Saudi Arabia, Sarah Abu Abdullah’s exhibition “18 Blankets” is an experiential art project she uses as a vehicle to showcase the absurdity of reconstructing daily life in the context of domesticity.
Her work, to which her family and friends have contributed, unravels the “processes” of home, a journey mangled and untangled by the uncanny familiar within private domestic spaces.
Through her exhibition “The Shift,” Qatari artist Aisha Al-Sowaidi attempts to shift the dynamics in traditionally used objects and furniture.
She focuses on the “majlis,” redesigning core elements in its main function. With a sense of nostalgia, her artwork suggests that through having these objects in the memory, they can compel you to traverse through emotions.
Hala Al-Khalifa’s exhibition “She Wore Her Scars Like Wings” demonstrates a journey of healing for the Bahraini artist.
The artworks — covered in thick strokes of paint, interrupted with bold lines of color — depict deformed and mangled wings rising from the collision of strokes and dripping paint.
They provoke an emotional response, and realize a moment of intimacy and vulnerability, but also strength and perseverance.
Her works attempt to shed light on our emotional state, and pose as reminders of our natural ability to heal and overcome.
Emirati artist Layla Juma employs through her exhibition “A Still Moment in Thought & Spatial Perception” repetitive, geometric shapes to create rhythmic sequences and forms.
In her work, these shapes and rhythms are crafted to conceptually articulate the ever-changing architectural landscapes of the present and the imagination of their future.
Her recurrent, ruminating meditations consider the influence and impact of spatial arrangements.
Coming from Kuwait, Monira Al-Qadiri’s exhibition “Legacy” draws an unusual connection between black pearls and oil, emphasizing that they share the same color scheme on opposite ends of the dichroic color spectrum.
It highlights the exploitation of these two materials at various points in history, and how that has been fundamental to the cultural and economic life of the Gulf.
Al-Qadiri’s art installation likens the heads of oil drills to intruders from another planet. The substance of oil is an alien intruder that dramatically altered the historical narrative of an entire region.
Thursday will also mark the start of what 21,39 says is the “largest art event in Jeddah.” The day will witness the opening of the Tadafuq Group and Tasami exhibitions, and the launch of a series of art-related talks and panel discussions under the three-day Safar Forum.
Athr is collaborating with street food caterer Krab Load to bring together 20 food vendors to the On the Terrace rooftop open gathering that starts at 8 p.m.


Who’s Who: Dr. Suzan Mohammed Al-Yahya, director general of Saudi Arabia’s Royal Institute of Traditional Arts

Who’s Who: Dr. Suzan Mohammed Al-Yahya, director general of Saudi Arabia’s Royal Institute of Traditional Arts
Updated 22 June 2021

Who’s Who: Dr. Suzan Mohammed Al-Yahya, director general of Saudi Arabia’s Royal Institute of Traditional Arts

Who’s Who: Dr. Suzan Mohammed Al-Yahya, director general of Saudi Arabia’s Royal Institute of Traditional Arts

Dr. Suzan Mohammed Al-Yahya has been appointed director general of Saudi Arabia’s Royal Institute of Traditional Arts.

Al-Yahya will be responsible for managing the institute, implementing its strategic directions and developing traditional arts in line with the institute’s vision.

She is one of the top academics in the field of art and design, having worked as a faculty member at Princess Nourah Bint Abdul Rahman University.

She also worked as a consultant, and was a member of advisory committees at the university and other organizations.

Al-Yahya obtained a master’s degree in art education and a Ph.D. in educational technology, as well as a Ph.D. in educational policies and leadership at the University of Northern Colorado, US.

She has authored research papers in various fields and participated in several scientific conferences.

The institute will launch its first training courses in September aimed at enriching traditional arts, training specialized national cadres, raising the level of public awareness, and preserving tangible and intangible cultural heritage.

The Royal Institute of Traditional Arts is one the initiatives of the Quality of Life Program, part of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 reform plan.

The Ministry of Culture aims to develop the local cultural sector through education and knowledge. The institute will provide advanced educational programs to prepare young Saudis to help the Kingdom develop its cultural sector along modern lines.


Saudi Arabia’s NEOM and KAUST partner to create the world’s largest coral garden in the Red Sea

Saudi Arabia’s NEOM and KAUST partner to create the world’s largest coral garden in the Red Sea
Updated 22 June 2021

Saudi Arabia’s NEOM and KAUST partner to create the world’s largest coral garden in the Red Sea

Saudi Arabia’s NEOM and KAUST partner to create the world’s largest coral garden in the Red Sea
  • The Shusha Island Coral Park will become a global center to showcase innovations to protect and restore coral reefs
  • NEOM will use a technique incorporating Maritechture technology on the beach reefs first and then the coral gardens surrounding the island

JEDDAH: Officials in Saudi Arabia have announced a joint project to establish the largest coral garden in the world at NEOM, the futuristic mega-city being built in the Kingdom’s northwest.
NEOM and King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) said that the project that will cover 100 hectares on Shusha Island on the shores of the Red Sea.
The Shusha Island Coral Park will become a global center to showcase innovations to protect and restore coral reefs and accelerate conservation solutions, helping to reduce the effects of climate change, a statement issued by Saudi Press Agency said.
The project is scheduled to be completed in 2025, making NEOM a world leader in restoring and developing coral reefs.
“We work within an integrated system to preserve the environment and all its components, and we seek to preserve coral reefs, in particular, and marine life, in general. This is one of the environmental goals that we are working to achieve, and our cooperation with KAUST shows the important dimension of these efforts,” NEOM CEO Nadhmi Al-Nasr said.
He added that the agreement with KAUST also aims to advance technologies and joint experiences, work to enhance the scientific community’s understanding of the way coral reefs adapt to climate change, and search for innovative solutions to preserve coral reefs in the Red Sea.
KAUST President Tony Chan said that the university is pioneering research in the Red Sea, and the promising project with NEOM is one of the largest technology transfer deals in the KAUST’s history, using innovations originating from the university.
“We look forward to working alongside NEOM to improve our lives through science and technology,” Chan said.
Shusha Island is home to more than 300 species of coral and 1,000 species of fish, and the coral garden will provide a unique opportunity for research and development, attracting scientists, researchers and tourism lovers who are interested in the environment, he added.
NEOM will use a technique incorporating Maritechture technology — developed by scientists from the Red Sea Research Center and the Coastal and Marine Resources Laboratory at KAUST — on the beach reefs first and then the coral gardens surrounding the island.
The project will enable NEOM to be a new tourism icon and a futuristic destination with a global character, as Shusha island reflects NEOM’s bold ambition toward developing marine tourism based on innovation to protect and grow marine organisms in the Red Sea.
In February, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman launched a luxury Red Sea resort project called the “Coral Bloom” development, which has been designed by world-renowned British architectural firm Foster + Partners.
It will be built on Shourayrah Island, the main island of the Red Sea Project off the Kingdom’s west coast.
On Monday, the Kingdom’s Red Sea Development Company signed a research agreement with KAUST that will see the two organizations cooperate in fields such as marine environment sustainability, food security and energy conservation.


Saudi foreign minister receives written message from his Egyptian counterpart

Saudi foreign minister receives written message from his Egyptian counterpart
Updated 22 June 2021

Saudi foreign minister receives written message from his Egyptian counterpart

Saudi foreign minister receives written message from his Egyptian counterpart

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan, received a written message from his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry, the Kingdom’s foreign ministry said on Tuesday.
The message was received on behalf of Prince Faisal by Deputy Foreign Minister Waleed Al-Khuraiji during his meeting with Ambassador Ehab Fawzy, deputy executive director of the Women Development Organization, affiliated to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, in the capital, Riyadh.
During the meeting, they discussed topics of common interest.


Saudi air defenses intercept drone launched by Yemen’s Houthi militia toward Khamis Mushait

Saudi air defenses intercept drone launched by Yemen’s Houthi militia toward Khamis Mushait
Updated 22 June 2021

Saudi air defenses intercept drone launched by Yemen’s Houthi militia toward Khamis Mushait

Saudi air defenses intercept drone launched by Yemen’s Houthi militia toward Khamis Mushait
  • The Arab coalition said this was the latest example of the Iran-backed Houthis deliberately targeting civilians and civilian targets

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s air defenses intercepted and destroyed a booby-trapped drone launched by Yemen’s Houthi militia toward southern Saudi Arabia, state TV reported.
The drone was targeting the city of Khamis Mushait.
The Arab coalition said this was the latest example of the Iran-backed Houthis deliberately targeting civilians and civilian targets.
“We are taking operational measures to protect civilians and deal with imminent militia threats,” the coalition added.
Saudi defenses intercepted another Houthi drone launched toward Khamis Mushait on Sunday, and 17 armed drones launched toward the Kingdom on Saturday.
The Houthis have stepped up cross-border attacks since the beginning of the year and launched a brutal offensive on the Yemeni province of Marib, sparking international condemnation.
On Monday, France joined Arab countries and regional organizations in denouncing the recent Houthi attacks on the Kingdom, saying that they defy international law, and calling on the group to halt their attacks and work toward achieving peace in Yemen.


Saudi Arabia records 12 COVID-19 deaths, 1,479 new infections

Saudi Arabia records 12 COVID-19 deaths, 1,479 new infections
Updated 22 June 2021

Saudi Arabia records 12 COVID-19 deaths, 1,479 new infections

Saudi Arabia records 12 COVID-19 deaths, 1,479 new infections
  • The Kingdom said 920 patients recovered in past 24 hours
  • 6 mosques reopened in 5 regions after temporarily evacuating and sterilizing them after 8 people tested positive for coronavirus

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia confirmed 12 new COVID-19 related deaths on Tuesday, raising the total number of fatalities to 7,703.
The Ministry of Health reported 1,479 new confirmed cases reported in the Kingdom in the previous 24 hours, meaning 476,882 people have now contracted the disease. 
Of the total number of cases, 11,131 remain active and 1,487 in critical condition.
According to the ministry, the highest number of cases were recorded in Makkah with 431, followed by the Eastern Province with 280, the capital Riyadh with 256, Asir recorded 149, and Jazan confirmed 99 cases.
The health ministry also announced that 920 patients had recovered from COVID-19, bringing the total number of recoveries in the Kingdom to 458,048.

The ministry renewed its call on the public to register to receive the vaccine, and adhere to the measures and abide by instructions.
The Ministry of Islamic Affairs reopened six mosques in five regions after temporarily evacuating and sterilizing them after six people tested positive for coronavirus, bringing the total number of mosques closed and reopened after being sterilized to 1,627 within 136 days.
The coronavirus pandemic has affected over 179 million people globally and the death toll has reached around 3.89 million.