RIYADH: A Saudi artist has created a maze out of concrete barriers to recount the history of terrorism in the Kingdom — after winning royal approval for his project.
Hammoud Al-Atawi used more than 800 blocks in his work titled, “The Labyrinth of Delusion.”
The idea for his piece came from his ruminations about life and all its difficulties.
“Every path that is closed needs the strength to find a way to exit it. I sent the concept to the Ministry of Culture and received the full support needed to execute my work from Minister of Culture Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan Al-Saud,” he said.
The artwork was symbolic of the battle waged against terrorism in Riyadh at the beginning of the last decade, Hammoud added.
Although the Kingdom was able to combat a number of attacks by Al-Qaeda in the country, terrorist groups subsequently targeted security and military institutions, diplomatic representatives, and civilian housing complexes, including those occupied by members of the international community, he said.
These terror threats prompted authorities to surround potential targets with concrete barriers in a bid to disrupt any terrorist attacks, he added.
However, the blockades have now been removed from streets and buildings as part of a project in the capital to improve the urban scene.
Hammoud said the Ministry of Culture coordinated with Riyadh Municipality to provide a site at the King Salman Science Oasis museum, north of Riyadh, where he could construct his artwork. The authorities also provided the concrete barriers and all necessary funding for his labyrinth project, which took two weeks to complete.
“I was provided with the actual concrete barriers that were used and was given access to their storage and took them as they were without any restoration done to them, which was how I envisioned my work,” he added.