RIYADH: The fourth edition of Tuwaiq Sculpture opened in Riyadh featuring 30 artists from around the world producing large-scale sculptures that will become permanent fixtures of Riyadh’s urban landscape.
Themed “Energy of Harmony,” the annual sculpture event will run from Jan. 8 to Feb. 10 and features live sculpting along with a public program of more than 65 activities, including panel discussions and interactive workshops that opened to the public yesterday.
Tuwaiq Sculpture’s community events will take place in two locations, Durrat Al-Riyadh and Riyadh Art Space at JAX District, with activities for beginner and intermediate levels conducted in English and Arabic.
Once the sculptural works are completed, Tuwaiq Sculpture will culminate in an exhibition that runs from Feb. 5-10.
“Energy of Harmony” was developed by curator Marek Wolynski and reflects on the fundamental characteristic of human existence — the ongoing synthesis of opposing forces. It encourages artists to reimagine sculptural possibilities and capture manifestations of the ephemeral processes of introducing, witnessing and experiencing change.
Participating sculptors were selected by a jury panel of experts after evaluating 650 applications received via an open call, according to an official statement.
Hailing from 20 countries as far as Austria, China, France, Georgia, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, and Switzerland, as well as strong representation from Saudi Arabia, the artists have exhibited their creations internationally, with a number working as academics within the field of sculpture.
This year, for the first time since its launch, Tuwaiq Sculpture will be using stone sourced from Saudi Arabia, specifically granite and sandstone.
Sarah Al-Ruwayti, the Tuwaiq Sculpture project manager, explained: “The decision to use stones from our local quarries poses symbolic significance for Tuwaiq Sculpture, specifically to highlight Saudi Arabia’s rich history with the medium, from ancient artifacts to rock carvings and modern-day sculpture. In addition, we wanted local and international artists to connect with material drawn directly from the country’s environment. (This) granite and sandstone, once transformed into beautiful artworks, will fill Riyadh’s public spaces, from parks to cultural and commercial areas for residents and visitors to see and appreciate.”
Launched in 2019, Tuwaiq Sculpture is part of the broader Riyadh Art program, one of the largest public art projects undertaken in the world today.
Riyadh Art, the first national public art initiative in the Kingdom, seeks to turn the city into a “gallery without walls,” with more than 1,000 artworks to be displayed across the Saudi capital.
To date, Tuwaiq Sculpture has engaged with 90 renowned local and international artists and thousands of visitors.