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Media release: Bridging the Gulf

16th November 2014

Riyadh versus Jeddah, the old and the new, are brought together, exploring Saudi’s contemporary arts scene – past, present and future

November 16th 2014: Edge of Arabia co-founder Ahmed Mater headlines the Alāan Artspace events programme starting this month. He will be in conversation on Saturday November 22nd with Alāan’s in-house artist Ehab Mamdouh, with translation.

Alāan Artspace’s founding director Neama Al-Sudairi explains, “Despite the slight tension between the arts scenes from which they hail, the artists have much in common to discuss. Both were strongly influenced by their mothers, in an industry traditionally inhabited by women. Both occupy that ambivalent world in which contemporary practice explores respect for cultural heritage and religious obedience within modern life.”

Ahmed Mater comes from a more established Saudi arts scene, promoted out of Jeddah, which has been embraced globally. Ehab Mamdouh, (whose debut show is currently exhibited at Alāan Artspace) belongs to Riyadh’s emerging contemporary arts scene, one that locals believe is more authentically Saudi.

A link to the footage of this meeting will be made available shortly after the event, via www.alaanart.com, for fans of the artists outside Riyadh.

Two days earlier, on November 20th, renowned Saudi arts expert, Maha al-Senan, launches the theme of Riyadh versus Jeddah, discussing the work of one artist from each city, whose art came of age in the mid-20th Century. She will be comparing the works of Abdelhalim Radwi and Mohammed Al Saleem, and looking at how they influenced subsequent generations of artists in the Kingdom.

Then, on December 2nd, Alāan Artspace, will be moderating a conversation among three young collectors about their passion for art.

Each speaker will feature two images: the first work they purchased and the most recent, explaining what attracted them to each piece, how their love of living with art has grown, as well as sharing some lessons and offering tips for anyone thinking of starting an art collection of their own.

Ms Al-Sudairi says, “At Alāan Artspace, our welcoming, informal environment is designed to help nurture talent and passion for the arts, in Riyadh’s fast growing community of connoisseurs. We take our role in providing an educational arts programme very seriously, to help ‘bridge the gulf’ in a Kingdom lacking arts education.”

The programme

Thursday, November 20
8:00pm – 9:30pm (Lecture starts promptly at 8:15pm, please arrive early)
A Talk with Images
“Two Saudi Moderns at Mid-Century” With Maha al-Senan, PhD

Saturday, November 22
8:00pm – 9:30pm (Lecture starts promptly at 8:15pm, please arrive early)
Artist Conversation & Interview
“Artist to Artist: Ahmed Matter ‘Talks Shop’ with Ehab Mamdouh”

Tuesday, December 2
8:00pm – 9:30pm (Lecture starts promptly at 8:15pm, please arrive early)
In Conversation
“My Art”: Three Young Collectors Talk About Buying (and Loving) Art

Notes to editors

For more information on Ahmed Mater please click here.

For more on Ehab Mamdouh please click here and here.

For Abdelhalim Radwi, click here and here.

For Mohammed Al Saleem click here.

And for Maha al-Senan click here.

About Alãan Artspace
Alãan (meaning “Now”) Artspace is Riyadh’s key contemporary forum, at the heart of the city’s emerging arts scene. As a proudly authentic Saudi style evolves, on its own terms, in Riyadh, Alãan Artspace fosters the city’s growing arts community through exhibitions, event programmes and an important arts library.

Our stunning exhibition space is deliberately set at street level, welcoming a relaxed, immersive experience. We seek to exhibit four shows a year, allowing the freedom to examine, contemplate and discuss each show in depth.

The gallery’s roster of resident artists has grown to include Ehab Mamdouh, Abdullah Al-Othman, Sarah Abu Abdallah and Sarah Mohanna Al-Abdali.

For more information, our web address is www.alaanart.com. Call: +966114169550. For media queries please contact Lise Colyer: lisecolyer@gmail.com.

Alãan Artspace Events

Alaan (meaning “Now”) Artspace is Riyadh’s key contemporary forum, at the heart of the city’s emerging arts scene. As a proudly authentic Saudi style evolves, on its own terms, in Riyadh, Alaan Artspace fosters the city’s growing arts community through exhibitions, event programmes and an important arts library.

Our stunning exhibition space is deliberately set at street level, welcoming a relaxed, immersive experience. We seek to exhibit four shows a year, allowing the freedom to examine, contemplate and discuss each show in depth.

The gallery’s roster of resident artists has grown to include Ehab Mamdouh, Abdullah Al-Othman, Sarah Abu Abdallah and Sarah Mohanna Al-Abdali.

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