Hala and Dhuha Al Khudairy
Saudi Arabian artist Hala Al Khudairy, her two daughters Zainab and Nouf, and their cousin Dhuha, are indeed a family of talented women who split their days between fulltime jobs and managing Millefiori Gallery, an art space whose name comes from the popular Italian glasswork technique (“mille” meaning million and “fiori” meaning flowers). In that gallery of hers, Hala, driven for her love for the intricate technique, works on unique pieces of art using pieces of broken glass.
Her glass works, which are striking, distinct, and echo Saudi culture and heritage, have allowed the artist to create a name for herself not only in her city of Dhahran but across Saudi Arabia as well. In a recent interview with Al Arabiya English, Hala explained her transition as an artist who initially worked with traditional material such as clay, to one whose work is now marked by her glass creations.
“I work at my workshop inside my home. I started 20 years ago with a group of fine arts enthusiasts in a Dhahran compound, starting with creating art works from clay. Then I joined a workshop on glass art and fell in love with this element especially. It takes a lot of precision in the manufacture of glass wares holdings and forming on hot ovens,” she explained.
The artist also pointed out that her art aims to promote the recycling of glass in an attempt to nurture a more sustainable environment. The process of transforming the chards into artworks, she explained, “requires the screening and purification of bottles in a very precise process, thus separating the bottles by color as part of an ambitious plan to recycle the glass, maintain basic quality of life and reduce environmental pollution.”
Indeed, Hala’s recycled glass art pieces have led to wider initiatives aimed at raising awareness on the importance of recycling. The Saudi artist hopes to continue spreading the culture of recycling in Dhahran, while encouraging the creation of a clean ecological legacy, minimizing the environmental footprint of the eastern region, and creating a conscious society that is aware of the environmental and economic importance of waste minimization.