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Meet The Saudi Female Artists Behind The Coolest Installations At Desert X AlUla

We'll never be over this awesome site-responsive exhibit!

Manal AlDowayan (on the left) Zahrah Al Ghamdi (on the right)

 As part of remarkable artworks on display at the world-class, outdoor, contemporary art exhibition Desert X AlUla are stunning installations by trailblazing regional and international female artists. Amongst the regional artists are two of Saudi Arabia’s very-own talents, Manal AlDowayan, with her installation entitled “Now You See Me, Now You Don’t” and Zahrah Al Ghamdi with her work titled “Glimpses of the Past.”

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“Now You See Me, Now You Don’t” by Manal AlDowayan

AlDowayan’s larger-than-life exhibition stunned visitors with its aesthetics and subject matter: The captivating work, which comprises trampolines submerged below the sandy terrain of AlUla, laid out to resemble puddles of water, was created as a way to address water scarcity in the region home of Saudi Arabia’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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“Now You See Me, Now You Don’t” is one of many works by AlDowayan that is truly spectacular, and embraces diverse media and exploring key themes such as invisibility, memory, and the representation of women in Saudi Arabia. For her undeniably striking talent, the Saudi Arabian photographer and contemporary artist was selected last year to be part of BBC’s annual list of 100 inspiring and influential women from around the world.

“Glimpses of the Past.” by Zahrah Al Ghamdi
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Like AlDowayan’s installation, Al Ghamdi “Glimpses of the Past” also focuses on Saudi Arabia, presenting itself as a shimmering oasis made of 6,000 metal date containers of various sizes, laid out across 80 meters against the terrain of Al-Ula. The work, which resembles “a sparkling, flowing river with multiple tributaries,” touches on an important part of AlUla’s agricultural industry, an ode to its agricultural wealth.

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According to the event’s website, the artist repurposed the containers and filled them with five different shades of sand and mirrors, resulting in a work that “becomes a metaphorical representation of AlUla’s significance in being a crossroads of civilizations in history and a cultural hub today attracting visitors from around the world.”

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