Anna Korver, "The Lighthouses triptych," Tuwaiq International Sculpture Symposium, 2021 at JAX District, Riyadh. Courtesy of Riyadh Art.
Sculptor Anna Korver has won the first prize at the 2021 edition of Tuwaiq Sculpture. Her masterful work, titled “The Lighthouses triptych” fuses abstract geometrical forms with multiple cultural associations, suggesting female figures and opening a space of interaction.
“I am delighted to have been selected as the winner of Tuwaiq Sculpture and to be creating and exhibiting my work in Saudi Arabia,” Korver, a New Zealander, said. “It has been such a unique experience and stimulating environment, during which I have been able to produce a new piece centred around the traditional dress for the women of Saudi Arabia entitled “The Lighthouses triptych.” It draws upon the idea of the lighthouse as a symbol of protection and safety and explores the importance of the feeling of home.”
Haider Alawi Al-Alawi, "Desert Lines," Tuwaiq International Sculpture Symposium, 2021 at JAX District, Riyadh. Courtesy of Riyadh Art
The Riyadh Art Expert Panel also awarded Haider Alawi Al-Alawi and Kim De Ruysscher the second and third prizes respectively. Al Alawi, a Saudi calligrapher and sculptor, came in second for his vision in condensing the experience of landscape in a synthesis of abstraction and figuration. His sculpture, entitled “Desert Lines,” evokes the Saudi landscape, characterised by sun, wind and sand. De Ruysscher, who hails from Belgium, poses through his sculpture called “Unseen,” an open enigma in which the idea of figuration is questioned by the concept of illusion through covering.
The winners were announced after a three-week live sculpting period, which was accompanied by a dynamic programme of talks, workshops, guided tours and educational visits. The 20 new works which were unveiled to the public in Riyadh’s burgeoning JAX District and exhibited in situ for four days have been relocated to permanent locations throughout the Saudi capital. This is in line with Riyadh Art’s mission to enrich the everyday lives of its residents and visitors alike. The initiative integrates art into the fabric of the city, contributing to Riyadh Art’s vision to transform the city into a gallery without walls for all to enjoy.
Kim De Ruysscher, "Unseen," Tuwaiq International Sculpture Symposium, 2021 at JAX District, Riyadh. Courtesy of Riyadh Art.
Under this year’s theme of “The Poetics of Space,” 20 chosen artists spent 21 days exploring the connections between matter and emptiness, light and shadow. Visitors were invited to delve into the creative process through a live setting open to the public, observing as gigantic blocks of black and white pearl marble gradually transformed into the sculptures standing today.
Four hundred sculptors from 71 countries initially applied to take part in Tuwaiq Sculpture, which will be back again next year. The finalists travelled to Riyadh from around the world to participate in the cultural exchange, uniting international and local minds through sculpture and furthering Riyadh as a cultural hub in Saudi Arabia.