Opened last December, the first artists' residence in Al Ula, the famous oasis in northeastern Saudi Arabia, is now presenting the works of its six resident artists, whose works will also be exhibited during the AlUla arts festival, from February 13 to 26.
On the theme of “Oasis Renaissance”, the resident artists at AlUla have been letting their imaginations run wild over the past few weeks, nourished by their exchanges with scientific experts as well as artisans and individuals from the local community. In total, 14 workshops and lectures, 7 programs open to the public, and more than a dozen site visits in the region have been offered to the resident artists.
This project, unprecedented in the oasis, is the result of a partnership between the Royal Commission of Al Ula (RCU), responsible for the protection and safeguarding of the natural and historical heritage of the site, and the French Agency for the Development of Al Ula (Afalula), which is accompanying the RCU in this ambitious goal.
This first residency is a success, and Jean-François Charnier and Arnaud Morand, respectively Scientific Director and Head of Creation and Innovation at Afalula, are very pleased with the results: “We are delighted to unveil the research and work of the first artists in residence at Al Ula. (…) With this program, we call upon contemporary creation to pay tribute to the beauty and uniqueness of AlUla, while contributing to the development of the destination through the specific intelligence of art.”
A success shared by the six artists themselves, three French, Sara Favriau, Laura Sellies, Sofiane Si Merabet, two Saudi Rashad Al Shashai, Muhannad Shono and a Syrian, Talin Hazbar. Their works are installations among the palm trees and the huge cliffs overlooking the oasis, which represent the cycle of life, the connection to nature, or the sound in the space around us.
A particularly successful residency with these Saudi, Syrian and French artists, which confirms Saudi Arabia’s commitment to art and to supporting the creations of artists from around the world.