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Saudi Art Days : London discovers Saudi talents

Yesterday, while the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammad bin Salman met both Theresa May and the Queen, Saudi art masterpieces were exposed at Phillips in a brand new formula of art, virtual reality and music.

Organised by the General Cultural Authority, Saudi Art Days theme was “Whole-istic”. A cultural event that gives the chance to explore Saudi heritage and discover the new talents of contemporary art.

Ahmed Mater, art as a global language

“We believe that art and heritage are the best language. Art is the language that doesn’t need translation. […] What’s happening in Saudi Arabia is that it’s just a very energetic time” explains Ahmed Mater, artist and president of the MiSK Art Institute.

The Saudi first roadtrip of Princess Alice

In 1938, the British Princess Alice landed in Jeddah. She decided to cross the country by car starting a roadtrip of the Kingdom. She documented this heroic coast to coast with 300 black and white photos and a movie. The photos, a part of the archive of the King Abdulaziz Public Library of Riyadh have been exposed in the exhibition: they show the hidden beauty of Jeddah in the 30s, the magic landscape of Saudi desert and a historical centre of Riyadh.

Photos of British Princess Alice's trip in Saudi Arabia
Photos of British Princess Alice’s trip in Saudi Arabia

At the time of the trip, Britain was moving towards war with Germany and the Kingdom was on the brink of dramatic change following the discovery of the huge reserves of oil beneath its desert sands.

Alqatt Alasiri

Added in the UNESCO list of the intangible cultural heritage in 2017, Alqatt Alasiri is the traditional women’s art for decorating the interior walls of the house. The participants of the event discovered this ancient tradition colouring the walls themselves.

Performing the Saudi art, Alqatt Alasiri
Performing the Saudi art, Alqatt Alasiri