The word “FIND” in its imperative form motivated me to research and write articles on contemporary art after a hiatus of almost a year, preceeded by ten years of following the Saudi art scene and connecting it to the history of arts in the region, tracking changes and transformations that have affected the form and content of the artistic landscape.
Today we live in an era of constant changes and artistic leaps in a region that some people call: The Gulf of Oil; the oil that seems to be the most influential factor in stimulating change and shifting the artistic expression in our Gulf communities. In addition, openness and interaction between the Gulf countries and the world contributed to a further stimulation to our art scene’s maturity in a short period of time.
Through (FIND) I attempt to highlight an aspect of visual arts in the Arab Gulf States in the light of these two questions:
What raises query?
What stimulates creativity?
I attempt to historically document visual arts’ status in the Arabian Peninsula/Arabian Gulf in general and in the UAE and Saudi Arabia in particular by drawing comparisons between certain common topics and tracing what generates and stimulates these artistic creations.
I Started the Search
A brochure of a group exhibition from 2004 served as a powerful signal to embark on my current quest after a long 10-year break. The exhibition brought together Abdulnasser Gharem, Ahmed Mater, Mohammed Khader, Abdul Karim Qasim and Ashraf Fayyad. Another brochure I found in my library was that of the first solo exhibition of Emirati artist Ebtisam Abdulaziz. Both brochures were lent to me by a fellow artist, Abdulnasser Gharem, whose experience holds many of the topics I intend to cover in my research in relation to the main artistic stimuli and the common artistic subjects in the works of Saudi and Emirati artists.
Recently, I have also found in my library a brochure of an exhibition I visited in Abu Dhabi in 2011 entitled (Emirati Expressions). I was greatly impressed by the works of Afra Bin Dhaher, which through their simplicity, they uniquely expressed the avant-garde in the works of Gulf artists.
In the days to come I'll be attempting to further delve into the subject.
I’ll be looking forward to you joining me on this search.