ATHR Gallery AlUla opens in AlJadidah
ATHR; the gallery that has celebrated Saudi artists since its inception in Jeddah in 2009 has opened its second gallery today in AlUla.
ATHR Gallery AlUla is located in the ancient desert city’s new arts and culture precinct, AlJadidah, in a dedicated exhibition space of 150m2 inside the AlUla Design Gallery.
The AlUla Design Gallery is the newest art and design project to be unveiled in AlUla this winter and another milestone in reasserting AlUla’s position as a centre of creativity and culture, with a mix of local and international art to discover.
The new 500m2 building is a contemporary space made of corten steel, glass and polished concrete. The architecture is an homage to the breezeblock used widely across buildings in AlJadidah, the chosenpattern arranged in an algorithm creating an abstraction of the familiar feature.
The building is designed by RCU Design Team and Gioforma/Black Engineering.
ATHR Gallery AlUla is the first space to open in the new building. The inaugural exhibition Artist Showcase, March 5 – March 15, 2022 from 4pm to 11pm daily, features Ahaad Alamoudi, Sara Abdu and Mohammad Alfaraj. The works explore themes ofhuman nature, ecology, the inner self, country and representation within three distinct mediums.
Mohammad Al Faraj was born and raised in Al Hassa. His interest in nature and ecology led him to a multidimensional practice. Alfaraj’s work often uses/reuses natural and other materials found in his hometown and combines them with children’s games and imaginative stories from people working the land. His untitled works are an attempt to create states of co-existence between humans and nature, their effect on each other, the decay of their relationship, with an undertone of hope.
Sara Abdu is a mixed media artist originally from Yemen who lives and works in Jeddah. Abdu explores themes of self, memory and home. For Abdu, a person’s interior life merits just as much interest as their exterior life. Her works And Sometimes We are Reminded of What Remains, 2021 and Now that I have lost you in my dreams, where will we meet?, 2021,offer cursory gestures to the conscious and unconscious mind.
Through her work, Ahaad Al Amoudi is trying to push the boundaries of the historical representation of Saudi Arabia, by studying the country’s reforming ethnography and showcasing it in the work she produces. She was born in Jeddah and grew up between the U.K and Saudi Arabia. Her screen-based works including The Three, 2021 is incorporating social commentary with parody and play that humorously investigate the order of our world.
The ATHR Gallery AlUla is the first iteration of the pioneering gallery that has had a crucial role in thegrassroots movement for artists in the Kingdom.Thegallery has developed strong ties with some of the most important museums in the world and has developed many local and international programs to support and profile Saudi art.
Quote from ATHR – “AlUla has positioned itself as a destination to explore the intersection of rich history and contemporary art, so to choose AlUla for our second gallery outside of Jeddah was an obvious decision for us, and we can think of no better place than that of AlJadidah to introduce a new space. We are excited to begin this journey in AlUla and to continue to foster and profile the Saudi art scene as we have done for more than 10 years.
When the vision becomes clear, the ceiling of dreams rises.”
AlJadidah is currently exhibiting the site-responsiveCortona on the Move AlUla narrative photography exhibition and offering the unique audio and nature Remote AlUla experience as part of the inaugural Arts AlUla festival. The precinct also recently wrapped up the first ever AlUla Performing Arts Festival.
Phillip Jones, Chief Management and Marketing Officer, Royal Commission for AlUla said, “As we move through winter we continue to reveal new and exciting experiences for visitors. We are honoured to be the second only opening for ATHR and to build on the arts narrative as we see so many visitors coming to the enjoy Arts AlUla festival as well as many other AlUla Moments events. AlUla has been a place of cross-cultural exchange for millennia and today we see this exchange of ideas and dialogue reviving once again.”