Tuwaiq Sculpture is an annual symposium and exhibition that takes place in Durrat Al Riyadh. A unique concept, the event allows the public to witness the live sculpting of large-scale artworks and this year, there are 30 international and local artists participating. Its accompanying exhibition welcomes visitors from 5th-10th February 2023 to see the completed artworks for the first time after 26 days of live sculpting.
30 artists travelled to Riyadh from 20 countries to participate in Tuwaiq Sculpture including as far as Austria, China, France, Georgia, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain and Switzerland, alongside strong representation from Saudi Arabia. Each artist has exhibited works internationally, with a number working as academics within the field of sculpture.
The cultural exchange is uniting international and local minds through sculpture and championing Riyadh as a cultural hub within the kingdom. The artists were selected from an open call by a jury panel of experts, including this edition’s curator Marek Wolynski, along with Alaa Tarabzouni, Ali AlTokhais, Dr. Effat Fadag and Johannes von Stumm.
According to a released statement, this year’s theme, ‘Energy of Harmony’, developed by Wolynski, reflects “the balance we all strive for in our lives, as well as ideas of cohesion and mutual understanding in the midst of great transformative change.” Artists responded to the theme whilst weaving in narratives existing in their practice and drawing inspiration from their physical location in Riyadh. The resulting sculptures speak to the local environment whilst channeling a narrative that bridges the gap between cultures.
A strong cohort of Saudi women sculptors are participating this year, including Noha Al-Sharif, Rajaa AlShafee, Wafa Alqunibit and Azhar Saeed.
The sculptures will be exhibited in situ for a period of 6 days, and following this, they will be relocated to permanent locations throughout the capital city of Saudi Arabia, enriching the Riyadh Art collection and becoming a permanent feature of Riyadh’s urban fabric. Carved out of granite and Riyadh stone, the sculptures embrace the viewer in a maze of cultural significance as they tour the exhibition.
Sarah AlRuwayti, Tuwaiq Sculpture Symposium Director, said in a statement, “For the last month, the public has been able to witness the live sculpting of these artworks here in Durrat Al Riyadh. In the context of our capital city, this is a unique feature of Tuwaiq Sculpture, that visitors can observe the creative process and see for themselves how the material is transformed with skill and artistic dedication.”
The exhibition is accompanied by a packed agenda of panel talks in both Arabic and English, also taking place at Durrat Al Riyadh where discussions will cover relevant topics on contemporary sculpture and art, featuring leading experts and artists. The talks, open to all and free of charge, can be booked on the Riyadh Art website.