Arabian Jewel is organising an exclusive visit to Saudi Arabia’s most exclusive interior designer. The pictures below speak for themselves.
A treasure cove for art and design enthusiasts. Displaying art, interior design, exclusive fabrics, unique furniture and an unmatchable ambiance. Find out from the artist himself what inspires his work, how to integrate stylish interiors and find your personal decor style in your space.
Hidden Jewel Speaks
“My inspiration is driven from the hidden soul and beauty that relies in all my surroundings. The warmth of desert sand dunes, the calmness of the sea, the rigidness of stones and musical rhythms of nature… Anything that triggers the senses, and challenges the thought.”
Register your interest on this event page.
First 6 to RSVP will be granted tour pass
LIMITED audience: 10 participants max
RSVP: By November 7th
All confirmed attendees will be privately emailed map and directions
Athr Gallery will be showcasing three solo artists, Faisal Almalki, Sara Abdu and Ramy Alqthami in the beginning of November. Read on for details.
Faisal Almalki Solo Show
Opening: Sunday, 2nd of November, 2014
03 November, 2014 – 10 January, 2015
Space 01, 5th Floor, Athr Gallery
Faisal Almalki’s upcoming show titled Lone Canyon explores that tiny space between a woman and her veil as the artist encourages the public to see things the way she does.
THE INTANGIBLE BONDS IN OUR EXISTENCE
Sara Abdu Solo Show
Opening: Sunday, 2nd of November, 2014
03 November, 2014 – 10 January, 2015
Space 03, RF Floor, Athr Gallery
In her first solo show titled The Intangible Bonds In Our Existence, Sara realizes the bonds that exist between humans and their surroundings; bonds that link any human to their emotions, realities and dreams; bonds that play an integral role that shape and affect us. She realizes these bonds as a co-existent consciousness within our own existence.
An upcoming exhibition this month by the Athr Gallery in Jeddah will be delivering the largest exhibition in Saudi Arabia on arts inspired by the study of geometry.
Dates and Timings
Jul 10 – Oct 10, 2014
Saturday to Thursday 9:00 am – 6:00 pm (Ramadan Time: 12 – 5 pm / 9.30 pm – 12 am)
5th & RF Floors, Serafi Mega Mall, Tahlia St, Jeddah,
For thousands of years, the question of whether the basics of geometry came naturally to all humans or if they had to be taught; has been explored. According to Plato’s writings, Socrates attempted to determine how well an uneducated slave in a Greek household understood geometry, and eventually concluded that the slave’s soul ‘must have always possessed this knowledge’.
In the midst of startling havoc; humans by this very instinct seek to find order in this chaos, to reason with it; translating it to a language that is perhaps visual and universal is a common field of exploration for scientists and artists alike.
Athr Gallery will deliver a groundbreaking exhibition titled The Language of Human Consciousness in July 2014 and will include work by over 40 artists from around the world. Most of these artists will be exhibiting work for the first time in Saudi Arabia and the Middle East at large. To inaugurate the opening on July 10, Director of TATE Modern London, Chris Dercon will moderate a discussion with pioneering artists in the field.
Athr Gallery has established itself as a leading cultural institution, in which providing a platform for local Saudi artists is at its core. Through this exhibition – in which both local and international artists will be showcased side-by-side – the intended impact and potential benefits are twofold: establish an association between local Saudi artists and leading international artists, and provide an opportunity for the public to experience international culture through a local exhibition.
The Language of Human Consciousness takes geometry as a starting point, accepting its heritage as a symbol of purity, intelligence and perfection and bringing it towards a more contemporary interpretation as a language for exploring the atypical, the imperfect and the alternative. Works are brought together that seek to dissect segments of times, contexts and places and open them up to universal interpretation. The works, in the potency of the contradiction between their infinite possibilities as geometric compositions and the range of their references – social, political, art historical or other – are reduced to a neutral ground: to a human and conceivable form.
The exhibition will examine geometry in a comprehensive exhibition that showcases a multitude of applications in geometry. The dynamic exhibition will include sacred geometry as well as work that unconventionally utilizes geometry, an example of the latter would be the work of Sama Mara, who will present a series titled A Hidden Order, a culmination of several years of collaboration between composer Lee Westwood and artist Sama Mara; where they attempted to interpret music into a visual geometric form. To realise this ambitious exhibition, Athr Gallery has collaborated with over 20 leading galleries around the world – From Lisson Gallery in London to Galleria Continua in San Gimignano and The Third Line in Dubai.
Image and text courtesy of Athr Gallery
Roat ur Resalah, or Beauty of the Message, is an Annual Arabic calligraphy exhibition organised by the Consulate General of Pakistan, Jeddah, from 1 to 4 May 2014 at Red Sea Mall, Jeddah.
The timings are 11 am to 11 pm. Calligraphy workshops will also be arranged during exhibition. An event not to be missed.
Roat ur Resalah is the name of this Art Expo which will exhibit vibrant and distinctive features of Islamic art as developed in various Arab and Islamic lands. The appeal of this art transcends time and space regardless of the country where it was created.
Arabic script has been an important constituent of Islam’s cultural heritage. Among Muslims, the art of lettering is connected with religious emphasis on reading the scripture. With this emphasis, the artistic expression of Arabic script has attracted all segments of Muslim societies throughout centuries and across the Islamic world. Arabic script has been an important constituent of Islam’s cultural heritage. The understanding and appreciation of this form of art was not, however, limited to Muslims. In later centuries, the Christian kings of Europe used Arabic inscriptions and calligraphic designs to decorate their palaces, furniture and coins.
The exhibition will highlight the continuity of tradition of calligraphy which goes back to the time of Caliph Umar Ibn Khattab (May Allah be pleased with him) and Caliph Ali (May Allah be pleased with him). In various Islamic lands this tradition has been carefully nurtured and enriched, particularly in Pakistan where it constitutes country’s primary cultural identity and heritage.
Majestic domes and minarets, ornamented pulpits of mosques and religious schools, palaces, courtyards, beautiful gardens with water fountains and fragrant roses, spacious caravanserais and tombs decorated with patterned brickwork, tile mosaic often in blue, golden and green, splendid molded mihrab facings with columnar bands of Quranic inscriptions, sophisticated geometrical and floral engravings and high ramparts. These features characterize magnificent Islamic architecture. Today, this architecture constitutes identity of Islamic civilization. The Art Expo will celebrate the glory of Islamic architecture in beautiful paintings.
The origin of miniature art is attributed to the Umayyad doctors who had commissioned painters to develop illustrated training manuals for scientific explanations. Miniature illustrations were, inter alia, utilized to show important scenes as well as acts of war and peace in popular legends and stories such as Alf Laila wa Laila, Dastaan Amir Hamza, Qissa Yusuf Zulaikha etc. With the passage of time, miniature became an integral part of Arab, Persian, Turkic and Pakistan’s Islamic art traditions. In Pakistan, it has acquired the status of national art under the rubric of the Mughal Art. The Art Expo will showcase this cultural delicacy in its true colours and technique.
In many Muslim lands, craftsmen treated wood as a precious resource. They learned to use small pieces of it to great artistic advantage, elaborating such techniques as carving and marquetry, in which a surface is entirely covered with little pieces of wood veneer laid side-by-side to form patterns. Roat ur Rasalah will showcase some of the exquisite pieces of furniture as developed in South and South East Asia.
Ayyam Gallery Jeddah will be presenting Contemporary Arabia, a multimedia exhibition featuring a selection of established and emerging Arab artists, including Samia Halaby, Tammam Azzam, and Shaweesh, to be held 5 May until 13 June 2014.
Contemporary Arabia will mark the ﬁrst time a broad survey of Ayyam Gallery’s stable of artists has been shown in the Kingdom. Representing several generations of painters and photographers from across the region, this forthcoming group show will highlight the myriad ways that today’s painters and photographers are exploring the
intricacies of modern life through such themes as the impact of globalisation, the presence of militarised conﬂicts, and the oversaturation of media that has redeﬁned our everyday existence. Other points of departure include explorations of form, such as visceral uses of colour, symphonic brushwork, and ethereal compositions, as springboards for sensory associations.
In his ongoing Dream series, Syrian painter Safwan Dahoul unearths the psychology of solitude, depicting moments of crisis as a place of conﬁnement, whether the death of a loved one, periods of estrangement, or the onset of political conﬂict. Through a recurring female protagonist whose Pharaonic eyes and calligraphic body situates her fragile state as of a phenomenon from time immemorial, Dahoul underscores the fragility of man amidst the variability of experiential realities.
In a playful body of photographs, Saudi artist Huda Beydoun explores the anonymity of public spaces and the interactions of random passersby as daily happenings unfold on city streets. During a trip to Morocco, Beydoun captured the scenes of her Tagged and Documented series by focusing on the routine action of urban settings while also framing the details of the different environs that deﬁne social organisation although outwardly banal.
Adorning her subjects with Mickey Mouse heads in silhouette and matching attire, she adds a sense of whimsy with a nod to the reach of consumerist culture to what might otherwise constitute as rituals of the mundane. Palestinian painter Oussama Diab utilises a conceptual approach to painting by appropriating the iconic markers and styles of seminal art movements to underscore the complexities of political conﬂict and exile.
Ranging in neo-expressionist canvases employing symbolist imagery derived from popular culture to a more recent realist body of work that places images associated with violence in settings that are historically reserved for sanctiﬁed subjects, Diab locates the intersections of visual culture and politics, emphasising how imagery has become one of the most powerful forms of mediation.
The exhibition will also feature artists engaging regional traditions such as Syrian painter Mouteea Murad who reinterprets the aestheticised harmony of Islamic art and adheres to its bases in spirituality, mathematics, and the natural sciences. Through vivid, geometrically precise compositions, Murad articulates a sense of splendour in the world around him as conﬁrmation of the sublime.
Ayyam Gallery Jeddah
Opening Reception: Monday, 5 May from 7:00-9:00pm
Exhibition Dates: 5 May – 13 June 2014
Location: Bougainvillea Center Jeddah, 3rd floor
King Abdulaziz Road, next to Stars Avenue
Al-Zahra District, Jeddah
Tel: +966 12 613 4111
– Text and images courtesy of Ayyam Gallery
Two upcoming exhibitions this April by Ali Ferzat and Emy Kat at the Athr Art Gallery, Jeddah.
1 – Stenciling – Tuesday 18th February 2014 (one day workshop)
2 – Batik – Wednesday 19th February 2014 (one day workshop)
3 – Silk Painting – Monday 24th – Wednesday 26 Feb 2014( three day workshop)
4 – Tie & Dye – Sunday 2nd March 2014 (one day workshop)
5 – Shibori – Monday 3rd March 2014 (one day workshop)
6 – Fabric Painting (cotton) – Tuesday 4th March 2014 (one day workshop)
7 – Batik – Wednesday 5th March 2014 (one day workshop)
8 – Silk Painting Advanced Session – Monday 10th March, 2014
SHIBORI :- Monday 2nd Dec, 2013
FASHION SKETCHING:- Tuesday 3rd Dec,2013
Rahul Gandotra’s short film, The Road Home was short-listed for the Academy Awards in 2012. The Road Home is a short film about a boy named Pico who runs away from Woodstock, a boarding school in the Himalayas, with a return ticket to Britain in hand. Pico may look like he belongs in the Himalayas or that he’s from an Indian descent but his British nationality is something that others around him find hard to accept. Pico tries to get to New Delhi and encounters people who softly push him into realizing that others don’t see him the way he sees himself. After finishing his undergraduate degree at the University of Michigan, Rahul attended the London Film School for Masters in Film Directing. For his Masters thesis he traveled to the Himalayas to shoot for The Road Home. He released the short film for free, and intends to make a full-length feature using the same plot. The trailer and additional information can be viewed on The Road Home Official Site. The underlying issues in the movie are pertinent in understanding today’s globalized society, and particularly poignant for the expat community. The short film leaves you with a deeper understanding of certain emotional issues surrounding globalization and the lingering feeling of displacement it leaves in many people. We at Jeddah Blog were very excited when Rahul Gandotra agreed to be interviewed, and our brilliant and resourceful writer Zareen Muzaffar set out to capture this exclusive story. You will all be surprised also, by a certain connection Rahul has with Saudi Arabia. Read on to discover more about Rahul Gandotra, his short movie, his life and experiences. How did you enter filmmaking and what was the journey like? I was pursuing professional sports at university when I got injured. To pass my time I picked up a camera which later graduated into a video camera and I started taking photography and film-making courses. At the same time I was about to graduate from university and started applying for management consultant jobs. My professor who had seen my work during the course told me I should seriously think of getting into the field. I think my fear of going into film-making had to do with the fact that I was disappointed with a lot of the films out there. So you could say the interest was there, but I kept delaying the decision till the very end. I started making short movies on my own. Sure, I was making mistakes but I was learning on my own. Honestly, I just slipped into this film-making profession and it has been a long path. The Road Home was part of my master thesis project. What led you to make this short film. How did this concept and idea come to you? While I was in Prague for a year, one of my teachers really encouraged me to make a movie about my life. I became interested in the idea, especially as I had built some connections, and had even written a script whose theme revolved around the search for home and identity. The topic was very close to me. The idea kept on flipping in my head till I decided to make an autobiographical account of my time spent at Woodstock. Search for home and a search for identity became the main underlying theme of my short.
How long did it take to film this movie? I didn’t have the proper film budget but it took 2 years for the whole process and six to seven months to write the script. Once the script was finalized we got into some intense pre-production. We spent about two months in India shooting for the film. While you were making this movie, did you have a particular audience in mind? Who were you reaching out to? In a way it was in defense of my ‘self’ and my experiences as a traveler. There was always this constant question of who I am. It gets frustrating with time because how you feel is different from what people see you as. When I went to India to shoot the movie, I was introduced to this book Third Culture Kids: Growing Up Among Worlds by David C. Pollock and Van Ruth E. Reken. The book is basically about the children who have been raised in multiple cultures during their foundational and developmental years, such that they don’t really fit into any one culture. That book described me really well. I realized these are the type of people I am making the film for and that this film is for anyone who questions where they are from, at any time of their life. Any one who has had an outsider experience or has left their country can relate to this movie. You have traveled extensively and lived in different countries. Tell us about your experiences as an expatriate (particularly while you were in the Middle East). I was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, grew up in eight countries across Europe, the Middle East, Asia and America. I lived in Riyadh between the age of 6 and 9. So my memories are from a child’s perspective. It was a lot of fun, I went to an American school, and lived in a compound. I spent some time living in Yanbu as well. The time I spent in Saudi Arabia was very enjoyable and I am sure my parents’ experiences were different than mine. So, where do you feel ‘at home’? Nowhere [laughs] Would it be safe to say home is everywhere? No [laughs again] What do you think is the impact of globalization on one’s authentic self? Does it survive? I would say in my case, it is a very extreme version because I have moved around quite a lot. I think it’s a double-edged sword. At one end, I had a very unique upbringing, for example I didn’t have to read about Ramadan, I lived through it while I was in Saudi Arabia. The sound of call to prayer is very soothing to me, so for me, all these are good memories. It may be something completely different to another person, so it depends on one’s personality too. You get to see the world in the flesh rather than reading about it. On the flip side, I moved around so much I feel I’ve lost the sense of community. I’ve lost count of the number of times I had to throw away things and then had to buy them again. Building your community and home again gets tiring. People think its a vacation, but its not. They associate travel with vacation but it’s not the same thing. You are not coming back to your surroundings, you are building it all again. There are some unintended consequences of moving around too much; you forget how long it takes for people to put their trust in you or how long it takes to build your community. Can you tell us about your next project? I have written a full-length feature version of The Road Home and that will be my directorial debut. Working with Andreas Eigenmann, I have turned Pico’s story into a coming-of-age adventure road movie. The feature script is faster-paced than the short. Lastly, since The Road Home was an autobiographical account, what would you tell Pico, or how would you address the internal conflict he goes through in the movie? That’s a tough question. When I was a nine year old, I wasn’t so eloquent or knowledgeable. I didn’t have the third culture book to tell me whats happening. There is a certain level of restraint, and its too much to ask of a nine year old. I read that a lot of third-culture kids handle culture in 3 ways: There are chameleons, the ones who blend into the society and basically avoid sharing their rich history; there’s the wallflower, those who avoid people and don’t interact much and then there’s the screamer. They are the ones who say “I am going to tell you who I am no matter what you think I am”, and obviously Pico and myself is the screamer. I wouldn’t stand anyone telling me who I was, and the number of hours of discussions I’ve had in life are too many to count. Ironically, if I hadn’t been through all these experiences, I probably wouldn’t have made the film. It has been something that has been a large part of my life. Special thanks to Rahul Gandotra for sharing his thoughts and views with us. To see more, you can go through this sampler pack including commentaries, interviews, photos, wallpaper, internet resources, and a link to the film for free.
Athr Gallery presents a live calligraphy performance, a calligraphy workshop and a group exhibition this Ramadan.
Strokes In Dialogue
Two master calligraphers
Wang Dongling & Samir Sayegh
In a live calligraphy performance
Tuesday, 23rd of July, 2013 at 10.00 PM Read more…
Jeddah’s Athr Gallery goes to Doha, Qatar this month to collaborate with the city’s Katara Cultural Village on ‘Show Of Faith’, a major, multi-media group exhibition by Saudi Arabian artists opening on July 11th and running until August 31st.
As part of a groundswell of activity from the Saudi Arabian gallery that has seen its artists exhibit in London, Berlin, Venice and Basel in the past few months, ‘Show Of Faith’ marks Athr Gallery’s inaugural foray into the burgeoning art scene of Doha.
Taking its cue from the imminent Ramadan season, a time of contemplation and spiritual regeneration for Muslims worldwide, ‘Show Of Faith’ offers perspectives, insights and reflections on the essence of faith, both within the precepts and traditions of Islam, and beyond, as a universal source of sanctuary and solace.
‘Show Of Faith’ questions how the proximity of Mecca has affected the worldview of the artists who have grown up in the area – artists such as Ibrahim Abumsmar, Nora Alissa, Dana Awartani, Ayman Yossri Daydban, Basmah Felemban, Musaed Al Hulis, Nasser Al Salem and Noha Al Sharif.
Discussing themes ranging from ritual, tradition and history to the contemporary manifestations of faith and devotion, ‘Show of Faith’ presents a broad spectrum of artistic styles and forms, that draw heavily on the geometrical abstractions of traditional Islamic art, blending smoothly with the present-day approaches and techniques.
– image and text by Athr Gallery
The Dorothy Boyer Fine Art Open House will be held in Jeddah on Wednesday, 29 May 2013 from 11:00 am and Thursday, 30 May 2013 from 12 noon. All are welcome.
For venue details please e mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Featuring new works from the Islamic Spain Series. To view the entire DBFA Collection please visit the Dorothy Boyer Site.
Ammar Al Attar Solo Exhibition
Opening: Tuesday, 14th May 2013
7.30 PM – 9.30 PM
Exhibition Dates: 14th May – 13th June, 2013
Ammar Al Attar surveys prayer rooms across Jeddah. Mandated in public buildings by national legislation, these informal worship areas are ubiquitous, providing the faithful a place for their five prayers a day regardless of their location.
The viewer experiences the artist’s perspective of these rooms as they are. Nothing is altered or staged, not even the lighting. The authenticity of the depictions allows the series to collectively describe an engagement with a space. This uncontrived honesty towards a subject is characteristic of Al Attar’s oeuvre.
The interiors are often humble, in line with Islamic tenets and in contrast to the region’s exterior architectural opulence. Serenity and stillness are prevalent in these makeshift rooms, elevating their spatial reality as industrial caravans or rooms in malls and business centers, to that of egalitarian spiritual sanctuaries. The prayer rooms mark the passage of time directly through the ever-present, often multiple occurrence of clocks, and more imperceptibly through the awareness of the movement of the sun.
Rituals that take place before entering the rooms are inferred – ablutions and perhaps even a call to prayer. One cannot help but wonder about the individuals in these very different spaces, performing the same rites. This sense of order and togetherness offers a reprieve from the bustling chaos of urban development. Even the demarcated rows in the carpeting are a comfort.
Al Attar chronicles his surroundings and contemporary landscape, going beyond mere documentation, and engaging with issues impacting the social fabric. These empty constructs where people meet are widely scattered evidence of faith, embodying the crossover between public and private space. The locales appear obscure, but upon closer inspection provide a visual history of the artist’s rapidly developing country by presenting a cultural continuity which is rarely visible amidst overwhelming change.
About The Artist
Ammar Al Attar (1981) was born in Dubai and lives and works in Ajman. He carries a Masters in International Business from Dubai’s University of Wollongong, and a Bachelors in Business Information Technology from Dubai’s Higher Colleges of Technology. He has taken part in photography courses, both locally and internationally.
Al Attar’s series of UAE Prayer Rooms was exhibited at the 2013 Sharjah Biennial, entitled “Re:Emerge: Towards A New Cultural Cartography.” He was selected for the 2013 Artist in Residence (A.i.R.) program, a partnership between Art Dubai, London’s Delfina Foundation, the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority and Tashkeel. His work has been shown throughout the UAE, and in the Thessaloniki Museum in Greece. The artist was shortlisted for the International Emerging Artist Award.
Ammar Al Attar is represented by Cuadro Fine Art Gallery in Dubai.
Opening: Tuesday, 14th May 2013
7.30 PM – 9.30 PM
14th May – 13th July, 2013
Hans Op De Beeck
Ayman Yossri Daydban
Sami Al Turki
David Zink Yi
Since the 1960s and advancement of technology, video art has taken a prominent route to becoming a fundamental contemporary art medium. With a growing number of international and Arab artists expressing their views, Athr Gallery is proud to present Video(works), a distinctive exhibition in that it celebrates the medium of video art rather than a specific theme or topic.
This exhibition is in collaboration with Hauser & Wirth Gallery, Galleria Continua and Selma Feriani Gallery.
Image courtesy of Athr Gallery and the artist