Saudi artists showcase new works at Diriyah Contemporary Art Biennale

Nasser Almulhim

‘Outlines on the Collective Consciousness’

The Saudi painter and sculptor was announced last month as the winner of the first Hayy Jameel Façade Commission. The annual competition – backed by Lexus KSA – invites artists to design an artwork for the 25-meter “canvas” on the facade of Art Jameel’s new headquarters in Jeddah.

Almulhim’s design was inspired by a regional folk tale called “The Dove, the Partridge and the Crow” and, according to the press release, “tells in bright, primitive colors and geometric sculptural compositions the story of the birds at a time of famine and drought, employed by their owners to migrate to the southern Arabian Peninsula in search of water, Almulhim collaborated with architect and artist Tamara Kalo on his proposal.

“A moral of this fable is to want the betterment of your community as a whole, rather than being individualistic in your pursuit of well-being,” Kalo wrote on Instagram. “Myths are ways in which people find comfort in troubling times, seeking refuge and solace in stories, to deal with our changing circumstances. They are a means of making collective sense.

For Almulhim, the piece showed “the importance of collaboration in difficult times and the significance of a harmonious existence for reaching the collective consciousness and achieving a higher goal, the purity of the inner soul”.

“It’s truly honoring and humbling to be one of the first to share this project with our community,” the artist said in a statement. “I am grateful to Art Jameel and everyone who has supported and encouraged me. I know that my participation in the opening season of Hayy Jameel will allow me to explore and push my practice; it is a great opportunity to learn more and meet a wider circle of creatives. I hope this artwork brings joy to the surrounding neighborhood of Hayy Jameel in Jeddah, and that the colors illuminate those who interact with it.


‘Denia Dour’

The Tunisian duo – Sabrine Jenhani and Ramy Zoghlemi – will release their highly anticipated new album in March. Last month they released this test track; a typically melodic outburst of bittersweet folk-pop in which the duo’s vocals play out beautifully. “After an eclipse that has now run its course, here is the sun and the rays of a new album again,” the couple wrote on Instagram. “We worked hard, differently, with a team of generous and thoughtful people… Your feedback was, as always, full of love and it is an honor for us. We will soon be listening to more new songs together.

“Between heaven and earth”

The Washington-based Middle East Institute, in partnership with the NYU Abu Dhabi Art Gallery, is hosting this exhibition of contemporary art from the United Arab Emirates to mark the country’s 50th anniversary.

The exhibition – which runs until March 31 – was curated by Munira Al-Sayegh and features the work of 12 artists based in the Emirates, but hailing from the Gulf, Levant, Southeast Asia and the United States. -United. It is intended, according to the MEI, to “challenge standard narratives about the Emirates through intergenerational dialogue exploring their social, cultural and natural landscapes. Through works focusing on topics such as the environment, consumerism and the impact of rapid urbanization, the featured artists explore themes of permanence and the ephemeral, time and memory.

Afra Al-Dhaheri’s ‘St Ives Hair Drawing 8’, shown here, exemplifies the artist’s fascination with ‘the tensions steeped in hair’, which regularly inspire his work, through which, according to the MEI, ‘ she explores the notions of time and adaptation, rigor and fragility.


“Scarborough Fair”

The Lebanese singer-songwriter recently released a haunting cover of this traditional English folk ballad. “I really like this song, it brings me back to my roots and my musical education,” Pol told Arab News. “I also like to layer several vocal and harmonies tracks, so Ramzi (Khalaf, synthesizer) and I decided to record it just for fun, because we both love this song and enjoy spending time in the studio.”

Swerte & Nutella Riot

“That’s Just the Thing”

Lucky Schild, aka Swerte, is best known for his work as third of UAE hip-hop pioneers The Recipe, but his solo work has a more vulnerable and melodic bent, and works great for this performance. acoustic recorded as the first in a series from MNK Dubai studios titled “Big Red Wall”. Swerte is accompanied by Nutella Riot, a duo made up of guitarist Niki Mukhi and singer and musician Noush Anand, aka Noush Like Sploosh, who plays acoustic bass and mouth organ here.

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