Visitors to AlUla — the world’s largest ‘living museum’ — have a few more weeks to enjoy Jeddah-based ATHR gallery’s debut at AlUla Gallery, “Blur of The Wells.”
Curated by Nour Gary, the exhibition, which ends mid-June, is a group show featuring some of the most prominent artists in the Saudi contemporary scene.
Gary told Arab News: “‘Blur of the Wells’ conveys how wells were the epicenter of any growing society — especially in this region — but wells need constant maintenance against the elements, as well as regular digging to keep the groundwater accessible.”
The show allows visitors to witness a metamorphosis of sorts — after deterioration and abandonment, a rebirth — all while mirroring the idea that wells are filled with knowledge and information.
The exhibition draws inspiration from water wells, which, if they aren’t constantly maintained and dug deeper, will inevitably undergo cycles of drought and decline — much like our own lives. It also celebrates, and encourages spectators to engage with, the land, drawing inspiration from the area’s natural heritage.
According to the gallery, the goal of the exhibit is also to invite artists back to AlUla after completing local projects or residencies, as well as to introduce established artists in the Saudi scene to AlUla.
Amid AlUla’s ancient rock formations and beneath the sweltering sun, this gallery space is a way for visitors to go deep within, literally, while reflecting on important works by a collection of seasoned artists, including AlUla-veteran Ahmed Mater, who recently showcased his exhibit “Ashab Al-Lal” at the AlUla Arts Festival.
It also features a selection of works by the Palimpsest Of Time residency grantees Mohammed Al-Faraj and Daniah Al-Saleh. Other participating artists are Sara Abdu, Zahrah Alghamdi and Dana Awartani.
ATHR AlUla is the gallery’s third branch. It first opened in Jeddah in 2009, and the other is at JAX in Riyadh.