Seminal Works From Influential Saudi Contemporary Artists Exhibited in the Extraordinary Desert Setting of AlUla

For 'What Lies Within', pieces from the past two decades by 17 artists from the collection of Saudi patron and collector Basma AlSulaiman will be on display, curated by artist Lulwah AlHomoud.

Shadia Alem, The Black Arch, 2011.

The Royal Commission for AlUla has announced that seminal works from some of Saudi Arabia's most influential contemporary artists are to be exhibited in the extraordinary desert setting of AlUla, where the arts play a core role in the resurgence of one of the world's most significant heritage and cultural destinations.  

For What Lies Within, pieces from the past two decades by 17 artists from the collection of Saudi patron and collector Basma AlSulaiman will be on display, curated by artist Lulwah AlHomoud. The exhibition is the first in a series in AlUla celebrating pioneering collectors and patrons who have sparked and steered Saudi Arabia's relationship with the arts, paving the way for a flourishing creative industries sector today.  

What Lies Within is installed at Maraya, one of the world's architectural wonders with 9,460 square meters of mirrors covering its exterior walls, reflecting the striking desert landscape of its surroundings. 

AlSulaiman's collection preserves a remarkable visual record of Saudi heritage and reflects a journey in the public response to art. Spanning works on paper, painting, sculpture, photography, and installation, the varied exhibition conveys the artists' and collector's connection to both local and global contemporary culture. 

The participating artists are: Manal AlDowayan; Shadia Alem; Mohammed AlGhamdi; Zahrah AlGhamdi; Lulwah AlHomoud; Musaed AlHulis; Adel AlQuraishi; Rashed AlShashai; Noha AlSharif; Dana Awartani; Abdulnasser Gharem; Maha Malluh; Ahmed Mater; Filwa Nazer; Saddek Wasil; and Ayman Yossri Daydban

In their own distinct styles, the artists explore the expansiveness of Saudi identity, spirituality, and culture, and how these have evolved from the past to the present day. In the centre of the space is a new, site-specific iteration of Shadia Alem's large-scale installation The Black Arch, shown in Saudi Arabia for the first time since its debut at the Venice Biennale in 2011. 

This temporary, free exhibition welcomes visitors who seek to discover the artistic energy and visionary inspiration present in modern-day Saudi. It showcases Saudi art on its own terms, platforming the vibrant breadth of output from artists working in the Kingdom and its diaspora. 

What Lies Within takes place as a highlight of AlUla Arts, the inaugural arts festival and one of four distinct festivals under the winter events umbrella of AlUla Moments.

AlUla is a living landscape museum for heritage, nature and the arts, spanning 22,561km in North-West Saudi Arabia, 1,100km from Riyadh. It houses the most globally significant remains of early civilisations of the Arabian Peninsula, including Saudi Arabia's first UNESCO World Heritage Site, Hegra. Built by successive civilisations across millennia, the destination offers a journey through time, bringing this rich heritage to the world. 

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Source: The Royal Commission for AlUla


Categories: Visual Arts

Tags: Alula, art, art collection, contemporary art, exhibition, Saudi Arabia, Saudi art

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