Second AlUla Artist Residency programme wraps up

The six participants in the three-month project will reveal their works as part of an open studio event

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An open studio event will be held next week to publicly reveal the works, research and creative processes of the six AlUla Artist Residency programme participants.

The Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU) and the French Agency for AlUla Development, or Afalula, announced that the second programme has officially wrapped up. The 12-week residency gave the artists the opportunity to pursue their work in the historical site.

Filipino multidisciplinary artist Augustine Paredes, who lives in the UAE took part in the scheme, along with Moroccan-Canadian photographer M’hammed Kilito, French-American transdisciplinary artist Sabine Mirlesse, Emirati poet Afra Atiq, Saudi multidisciplinary artist Mohammad Alfaraj and Saudi visual artist Daniah Alsaleh.

Together, they represent an array of mediums, including poetry, painting, sculpture, photography, as well as installation, performance, video and digital arts.

The work and research of the six artists will be revealed to the public during a two-day open studio event in a guesthouse in the palm grove of Mabiti in AlUla. Photo: Royal Commission for AlUla

The artists interacted with historians, archaeologists, geologists, anthropologists, farmers, wildlife and agricultural experts, as well as the local community, to exchange ideas and glean inspiration for their artworks and research. Their works during the residency drew from AlUla’s natural and cultural landscape.

Through a curated public programme of workshops, talks, film screenings, and readings, the artists introduced their ideas and practices to the greater community of AlUla.

Their work and research will be revealed to the greater public during the two-day open studio event in a guesthouse in the palm grove of Mabiti. The event, running on December 19 and 20, will give visitors the opportunity to meet the artists, visit their studios and be immersed in the culmination of three months' worth of research, experimentation and production. The event will also feature performances by Atiq and Parades, along with a discussion with Alfaraj, Kilito and Mirlesse.

The 12-week residency gave six artists the opportunity to pursue their work in AlUla. Photo: Royal Commission for AlUla

A panel discussion featuring all six artists-in-residence will take place on December 20, followed by a closing event to celebrate the creative community that has formed around this residency programme.

The AlUla Artist Residency programme will resume in January next year, with a new iteration that will further investigate the dialogue between the past and present, reflecting upon history and its artistic heritage through the lens of digital and technological innovation.

The first AlUla Residency Programme was held between November last year and January this year, and also featured six artists, including Rashed AlShashai, Sara Favriau, Talin Hazbar, Laura Sellies, Muhannad Shono and Sofiane Si Merabet.

RCU’s ambition is also to gradually connect the AlUla Artist Residency programme to its wider cultural assets, and explore the area's agriculture, botany and perfume, as well as the Arabian horses, arts, design and architecture that make up the cultural fabric of the city.

Updated: December 15, 2022, 3:35 PM