Young Saudi’s artistic work takes Islamic geometry to new level

‘Harmony’ describes reaching the balance in life with the black circle and the white interlocking perfectly. (Supplied)
‘Harmony’ describes reaching the balance in life with the black circle and the white interlocking perfectly. (Supplied)
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Updated 01 January 2022

Young Saudi’s artistic work takes Islamic geometry to new level

‘Harmony’ describes reaching the balance in life with the black circle and the white interlocking perfectly. (Supplied)
  • It is very precise and has a lot of structure, I absolutely fell in love with rhyme and rhythm of it, says Lama Abdulrahman
  • Abdulrahman said that — from what she has heard — her connection to her artwork differs from most other artists

JEDDAH: A 22-year-old artist, Lama Abdulrahman, has taken traditional Islamic art and experimented with it, creating her own unique style while still keeping the spirit of the art alive.
Her main style is Islamic geometry, though she likes experimenting with many different mediums, Abdulrahman said.
“Mainly, I love patterns; I play around with patterns depending on my mood, so I was discovering the different kinds of patterns when I found Islamic geometry. It is very precise and has a lot of patterns and structure.
“I absolutely fell in love with the rhyme and rhythm of it; that’s where I decided that this is what I want to pursue further.”




visitors in Athr gallery marveling over "Sukoon" an artwork that shows. (Supplied)

Art is often described as a visual representation of one’s feelings; when following the abstract style of art, the artist does not plan the course of action, Abdulrahman said, adding that she is extremely connected to her style but in a different way. “Usually, artists go about expressing their emotions in a very ‘flowy’ manner, but for me, it’s grounding when I draw the perfect line, and when the shapes form and they are perfect, that gives me inner peace.”
She defined the feeling of constructing a well-proportioned pattern as “serene,” since Islamic geometry has sacredness. The artist said that her connection to her art is strong because, when she is insecure about her work, she also feels insecure about herself.




The artwork that was exhibited in Athr gallery, by Lama Abdulrahman. (Supplied)

Abdulrahman said that for her work, she chose to do the majority of pieces in black and white. “The point of that is to show how the shape came to be, the beauty of the shapes and patterns themselves without adding color to it,” she added.

HIGHLIGHT

Lama Abdulrahman said that she was scared to present it to the audience because both the art styles she was using are sacred, but that people received them well.

Recently, she showcased her artwork in Athr Gallery in Jeddah, which was a first of its kind. She united the two styles, making the proportions a meeting point of calligraphy and geometry titled “Sukoon” (Tranquility).
The young artist said that she was scared to present it to the audience because both the art styles she was using are sacred, but that people received them well.
“One of the visitors even said that, even though there are a lot of lines and colors, the piece itself had a lot of chaos drawn into it, (yet) she still felt tranquility. My message reached this one person, and that meant the world to me,” Abdulrahman recalled.




The construction of the letter Kaaf is represented by Islamic geometry. (Supplied)

“There is … pressure that every single pattern I draw and analyze has been drawn before. I always have the fear that I might ruin this historical artifact,” she said, sharing the fears that she faces on a daily basis.
Another challenge that Abdulrahman said was common, but not talked about enough, was imposter syndrome, or feelings of self-doubt or incompetence despite qualifications and experience.
She said that an inner voice was always telling her that she hasn’t studied art or that this art form was not for her to put her spin on, yet she still persisted.
The number of Islamic geometry artists is scarce in Saudi Arabia. Most of the research available on the topic can be found only in English. According to Abdulrahman, there is so much artists have been missing out on as a result of this barrier. “Only recently have they started to explore this field, I feel like we have a whole unexplored gold mine here.”
Abdulrahman aspires to reach a level where she can put up her own art gallery without having her name attached to someone else. “I would like my art, and my potential, to speak for itself,” she said.


Emirati arts patron Huda Alkhamis-Kanoo receives prestigious award from Spain’s queen

Emirati arts patron Huda Alkhamis-Kanoo receives prestigious award from Spain’s queen
Updated 25 June 2022

Emirati arts patron Huda Alkhamis-Kanoo receives prestigious award from Spain’s queen

Emirati arts patron Huda Alkhamis-Kanoo receives prestigious award from Spain’s queen

DUBAI: Huda Alkhamis-Kanoo, founder of the Abu Dhabi Festival, has become the first Arab to receive the Reina Sofía School of Music’s prestigious medal of honor. 

The Emirati national, who was born to a Saudi father and a Syrian mother, received the award from Queen Sofia of Spain at the school’s academic closing ceremony in Madrid. 

Alkhamis-Kanoo was awarded for supporting the development of music culture and education, as well as for her outstanding support to the school.

When receiving the award, she dedicated her accomplishments to Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak — the wife of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al-Nahyan, founder of the UAE — whose unwavering support she said “empowers women throughout the UAE.” 

Alkhamis-Kanoo, who was born in Beirut, founded the Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Foundation in 1996 and the Abu Dhabi Festival in 2004.

She has received numerous awards, including the Abu Dhabi Award and Abu Dhabi Medal (conferred by UAE President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan), the UN-affiliated Women Together Award, the Aspen Institute Emerging Voice Award for Cultural Stewardship, and the Puccini Festival Foundation Award.

 


German model Toni Garrn weds in Elie Saab gown

German model Toni Garrn weds in Elie Saab gown
Updated 25 June 2022

German model Toni Garrn weds in Elie Saab gown

German model Toni Garrn weds in Elie Saab gown
  • Former Victoria’s Secret model wore a custom flowy dress cut out at the waist with a lace bustier
  • She exchanged vows for the second time with British actor Alex Pettyfer

DUBAI: German model and actress Toni Garrn tied the knot this week in Greece wearing an Elie Saab gown.

The former Victoria’s Secret model exchanged vows for the second time with British actor Alex Pettyfer in an intimate wedding on Monastiri beach.

For her special day, Garrn wore a custom flowy dress by the Lebanese couturier. The gown was cut out at the waist and featured a lace bustier. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by TONI GARRN (@tonigarrn)

“Yesterday felt like the most beautiful dream,” the star told her 3.6 million followers. “The beautiful natural wedding ceremony that was actually a full-on rock-climbing adventure … in the most delicate wedding dress made completely by hand.”

Garrn, whose runway debut was in 2008 for the Calvin Klein spring/summer show, shared a series of images on her Instagram of the tough trip she took to get to where her husband and the rest of her guests were standing on the cliff.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by TONI GARRN (@tonigarrn)

“The chances were actually around 50 percent I (and) the dress wouldn’t make it in one piece to where Alex and everyone else was waiting. I’ll never forget this day.”

The couple previously wed in October 2020 in Hamburg, Germany in front of family and friends.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by TONI GARRN (@tonigarrn)

In March 2021, Garrn revealed on Instagram that she and Pettyfer were expecting their first child together. “I’ve been keeping this secret for … pretty much 6 months exactly. FINALLY I can share my biggest news with you all,” she captioned her short pregnancy reveal video back then.

The couple welcomed their daughter Luca Malaika in July 2021.

Besides tying the knot, the couple also celebrated, over the weekend, Pettyfer’s first Father’s Day.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by TONI GARRN (@tonigarrn)

The new mom walked over 60 shows for prestigious designers including Stella McCartney, Dior, Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Hermès, Dolce & Gabbana and Michael Kors.

Her first acting role was in 2017. She played the role of South African model Reeva Steenkamp in the movie “Oscar Pistorius: Blade Runner Killer.”

She also appeared on productions like the Marvel blockbuster “Spider-Man: Far from Home” and the German drama series “You Are Wanted.”

Garrn is not the first celebrity to wed in an Elie Saab gown. South Korean actress Son Yejin, the “Games of Thrones” star Rose Leslie and actress Debby Ryan have all chosen the Beirut-born designer to make their dream dresses.


‘Elvis’: Baz Luhrmann’s biopic steers clear of the shadows 

‘Elvis’: Baz Luhrmann’s biopic steers clear of the shadows 
Updated 25 June 2022

‘Elvis’: Baz Luhrmann’s biopic steers clear of the shadows 

‘Elvis’: Baz Luhrmann’s biopic steers clear of the shadows 

CHENNAI: Baz Luhrmann’s biopic of the legendary singer “Elvis” is lukewarm at best. 

Given Elvis’s legendary status, Luhrmann’s 160-minute work disappoints, largely because he has chosen to edit the piece so as to make it seem restless — a movie without a soul with frames flashing past so fast that there is no time to sit and savor the spectacle. 

The story is mostly narrated by Colonel Tom Parker (Tom Hanks), who as Elvis’s shrewd manager was as much responsible for the singer’s rise, pushing him to travel from Memphis to breathtaking heights, as for his fall. It is this strange and sometimes vicious relationship between a domineering Parker and the singer (played by Austin Butler) that the movie fails to explore — it merely skims the surface here and there and audiences are only given glimpses of how the young star was manipulated and controlled, with his dream of becoming a serious actor derailed by his manager.

The story is mostly narrated by Colonel Tom Parker (Tom Hanks), who as Elvis’s shrewd manager was as much responsible for the singer’s rise. (YouTube)

We do get a glimpse of Elvis’s early life, including his struggles, the influence of black music — which is a relief given the recent realization in the press and on social media that the star was indeed influenced by the music of black artists in an atmosphere of entrenched racism — his two-year military service in Germany and marriage to Priscilla, among other events. However, the director chooses to remain on the brighter side, with the rock ‘n’ roll legend presented as dashing and debonair until the very end, although that was not the reality. 

But what audiences are really here for is the music, and on that note “Elvis” fails to deliver. Presley’s own vocals were used in the later part, and Butler sings the early hits and does offer some electrifying moments, but the soundtrack could have been far more engaging. 

A magnificent Hanks manages to evoke the Jekyll-and-Hyde persona he plays with fair degree of conviction, although he does slip up now and then. Meanwhile, an equally impressive Butler as the hip-swiveling, guitar strumming, foot tapping king is often mesmeric but it is not easy to impersonate a man whose aura is still dazzling. The writing by Sam Bromell, Craig Pearce, and Jeremy Doner fails to give balance to the narrative and despite some engaging performances, “Elvis” is a bit of a let down.


REVIEW: Adar Art Hub

Photo/Supplied
Photo/Supplied
Updated 24 June 2022

REVIEW: Adar Art Hub

Photo/Supplied
  • Apart from the creative aspect of the place, Adar Art Hub has excellent coffee options, teas and desserts. I usually order their lemon iced tea, or a pot of jasmine tea when I’m with my family and friends

Adar Art Hub is a great place for artists of all kinds. Painters, wood whittlers, sketchers, calligraphers as well as parents and their children can enjoy this space every day from 8 a.m. to midnight.

The art cafe offers different sizes of canvases, at varying prices, and a wide collection of paint brushes for all types of strokes. There is also paint in a variety of colors that customers are free to use after purchasing a canvas.

I enjoy going to Adar Art Hub very much because it feels wonderful to be surrounded by a community of artists that support your hobbies. I dabble in sketching sometimes, and the more I visit, the more I am encouraged to improve my skills.

Apart from the creative aspect of the place, Adar Art Hub has excellent coffee options, teas and desserts. I usually order their lemon iced tea, or a pot of jasmine tea when I’m with my family and friends.

Adar Art Hub is also an excellent place for bibliophiles as visitors can find a high pile of books to read for free. I sometimes grab one while my artist friends continue to paint; it provides a very wholesome quality time for visitors.

In addition, the place has some of the best Arabic board games such as “Lakhma,” “Akfosh” and “Gool bas La Tgool,” along with chess and UNO options.

It is an all-in-all fun place to hang out with friends and family because of the great choice of activities.

It is on the fourth floor of the Link Building on Prince Sultan Road in Al-Rawdah district, Jeddah.


Jeddah’s Village zone turns education into child’s play

(Twitter @TheVillageJED)
(Twitter @TheVillageJED)
Updated 24 June 2022

Jeddah’s Village zone turns education into child’s play

(Twitter @TheVillageJED)
  • The kids driving school teaches children how to drive on miniature roads, with each child given a driving license

JEDDAH: With its relaxed family atmosphere, Jeddah Season’s The Village zone offers entertainment and education in equal measure.

Children can participate in a variety of educational and recreational activities, such as the Al-Jahez experience, kids driving school and live shows, in a spirit of fun and happiness for family members.

The Village provides free parking space and a wide range of services, with seven areas full of fun and recreational education, including the Al-Jahez experience, which introduces children to the oldest Arabic manuscripts detailing the animal kingdom through an educational and interactive exhibition.

Robots also teach children about artificial intelligence and the development of robotics.

The kids driving school teaches children how to drive on miniature roads, with each child given a driving license.

The Village includes several recreational areas, such as the balloon ride and sports activities, as well as rock climbing, zip-lining and an obstacle course.

Children can also visit the petting zoo, where they can play and take photos with the animals, and enjoy carnival skill games that offer challenges and prizes.

Held under the slogan “Our Lovely Days,” the second Jeddah Season follows on from the success of Riyadh Season, which recorded more than 15 million visits over five months.

The annual Jeddah Season festival aims to highlight the city’s rich heritage and culture through a total of 2,800 activities in nine zones over the event period.

The festival season offers 70 interactive experiences, more than 60 recreational activities, seven Arab and two international plays, marine events, a circus, four international exhibitions and a host of other services for families.