Arts AlUla celebrates the latest AlUla Artist Residency
The Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU) is celebrating another successful edition of the organisation’s Artist Residency programme, delivered in partnership with Afalula, the French agency for the development of AlUla. Six international artists were invited to take up residence in the oasis town of AlUla and to collaborate with archaeologists, wildlife experts, farmers and the local community to learn about the region’s unique ecological landscape and rich heritage. Participating artists included Daniah Al Saleh (KSA), Mohammed Al Faraj (KSA), Dr Afra Atiq (UAE), M’hammed Kilito (Morocco), Sabine Mirlesse (France/USA) and Augustine Paredes (Philippines/UAE).
During the residency, each artist also hosted a workshop with groups from the local community where they introduced their individual practices and shared valuable artistic and creative skills with the participants. Months of research, experimentation, and collaboration in AlUla culminated in a two-day Open Studio.
The artists’ works varied in form, comprising photography, stop-motion animation, painting, spoken word poetry and multimedia installation. Subjects explored by the artists were equally diverse. Daniah Al Saleh and Mohammed Al Faraj’s work focused on the early Nabataean civilisation and explored how stories and memories are preserved over time. M’hammed Kilito and Dr Afra Atiq found inspiration in the present through the lived experiences of the local farming community which make up a lesser known aspect of AlUla. Sabine Mirlesse and Augustine Paredes centred their practice around the natural landscape, respectively exploring geomancy – the act of divining meaning from the earth – and significance of the palm tree.
Flint Culture MENA accompanied the participating artists, documenting their creative journey in AlUla, from their initial discovery and exploration of the oasis and environs, through the meaningful relationships they developed with the people of AlUla, to the manifestation of these experiences at the Open Studio. Content developed by our digital team included an intimate interview series with the artists, following their creative processes and reflecting on their experiences.
For further information, please visit https://www.livingmuseum.com/en/artsalula/alula-artist-residencies or @artsalula
Image Credit: Shoayb Khattab, Mostafa Ahmed Hassan