‘Sisters of Baghdad’ art exhibition opens in Jeddah

Artwork on exhibit by Saudi contemporary artist Awdah Al-Zahrani.
Updated 03 February 2017

‘Sisters of Baghdad’ art exhibition opens in Jeddah

JEDDAH: Hafez Gallery organized a solo art exhibition in Jeddah on Wednesday by Saudi contemporary artist Awdah Al-Zahrani, entitled Sisters of Baghdad.
Citizens and expats attended the exhibition, which depicts Al-Zahrani’s perspective of art as a heightened emotional state with a cinematographic point of view.
“Since art overtakes limits of time and space, marries facts and picture-perfect moments, my aim was to recollect moments of Baghdad anemones in the form of art that stretches beyond time like a myth, or rather, like a revolution that still has to grow,” he said.
“Since art removes the limits of geography and time, and mixes between the imaginary research and the picture’s perfection, ‘Sisters of Baghdad’ showcases a time dimension and depicts the story of survival and identity that has been there since ancient times.”
Through art, Al-Zahrani wanted to change Baghdad’s dark image and highlight how beautiful and inspiring the city is.
Qaswra Hafez, the founder of Hafez Gallery, said: “It is a great opportunity for us to exhibit the ‘Sisters of Baghdad,’ as this show lays out the ancient story and traces a subtle path to the understanding of the region. Moreover, the current turmoil in the region is quite relevant in his artwork.”
Hafez added: “It is a highly sensitive aesthetic gardening for an artist to contribute to issues and search at his highest convictions to convert it into an art form. Hafez Gallery always welcomes and supports such artists and provides a platform to them.”
The gallery, in collaboration with Art Jameel, Banafsajeel and Beydoun exhibition space, is organizing a month-long contemporary Saudi art exhibition entitled “Tadafuq,” which began on Feb. 2.

Saudi Arabia’s AlUla provides a perfect ‘Corner of the Earth’ for Jamiroquai to shine

Updated 25 January 2020

Saudi Arabia’s AlUla provides a perfect ‘Corner of the Earth’ for Jamiroquai to shine

ALULA: British band Jamiroquai thrilled a delighted audience at Maraya Concert Hall in Saudi Arabia on Friday night during a show packed with hits.

In a first for a venue more used to hosting opera and classical concerts, the British funk/acid jazz outfit had fans dancing along to the music.

The show, at the distinctive, mirror-covered concert hall in historic AlUla, was part of the second Winter at Tantora festival. It opened with “Shake It On,” followed by the hit singles “Little L,” “Alright,” and “Space Cowboy.” By this time the crowd was well and truly warmed up, and “Use the Force” got them on their feet.

“The song seemed to resonate with everyone” Jay Kay told Arab News in an exclusive interview after the show.

During the gig, Kay dedicated the 2002 song “Corner of the Earth” to AlUla, which he described as a “magical and wonderful place, which is absolutely stunning.” The opportunity to perform there was “an honor and privilege” he added. He also thanked “Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman for his vision, and Prince Badr for making this happen and the great hospitality.”

After a further selection of singles and album tracks, the show ended on a high with a quartet of hits — “Cosmic Girl,” “Virtual Insanity,” “Canned Heat” and “Lovefoolosophy.”

Kay praised the Maraya Concert Hall as “a brilliant place to play.” He admitted that initially he was a little worried when he saw it because he was under the impression it would be an outdoor venue. However, any concerns he had were gone by the time the first sound check was done.

“I was transported into a completely different world; the acoustics were unbelievable, like being in a German concert hall,” he said. “It is obviously very well thought out and that’s what makes it so good. The sound was fabulous — I never looked at my sound guy once.”

Jamiroquai’s music videos often feature Kay in super cars, of which he owns many, and he revealed that he would love to shoot such a promo in AlUla.

“In reality, I’m desperate to get in one of the dune buggies, and would kill to have a (Ariel) Nomad and have a go in one in AlUla, where it’s supposed to be driven, for a day or five and dune bash, which is such a rare thing for us in England,” he said.

The singer also said he wants to bring his family to AlUla, which has become a hub for culture and creativity in Saudi Arabia.

“I would like to come out with my family and my youngest, who is called Talula, so hopefully we can have Talula come to AlUla, which would be wonderful,” said Kay.

He added that he was looking forward to exploring the area on Saturday, before leaving the country, but added: “I’m sure you can never have enough time to see everything there is to see.”