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Saudi Artist’s Emotionally Evocative Art: Inviting Connection and Contemplation

Abeer Sultan is passionate about seizing the moment and preserving it. Her latest exhibition, "I Will Take the Sun Into My Eyes," at Noor Riyadh's JAX District display until March 2, exemplifies her photographic artistic approach.

In discussing her participation in the exhibition, Sultan expresses excitement about showcasing her work alongside other talented artists. By encouraging spectators to get fully immersed in the environment she has created, she hopes to initiate a conversation.

A Saudi Arabian artist in the making, Sultan draws inspiration from her personal experiences to evoke strong feelings from her viewers. She explores other but plausible realities using traditional visual storytelling techniques for the exhibition's topic of "Refracted Identities, Shared Futures," blurring the lines between fact and fantasy.

Commissioned by Noor Riyadh, her three-screen video installation features various encounters in Riyadh and Jeddah, selected not for their aesthetic appeal but for the emotions they evoke. Sultan, based in Riyadh, was particularly drawn to Jeddah's coastal setting, seeking out shades of blue that resonated with her.

Sultan drew inspiration for her piece's title from Bjork's song "Sun In My Mouth," which she used to begin her creative process. She wrote a poem reflecting on themes of loss and separation, stemming from her previous residency project titled "Al-Bidaya" (The Beginning), which explored the symbolism of funerals.

Sultan uses fallen palm trees as a metaphor for life's ups and downs, contrasting growth and decay in her installation by incorporating these symbols of resilience into the frame of the screens. The color blue, symbolizing both sadness and tranquility, permeates her work, adding depth to its emotional resonance.

Sultan's video installation captures everyday moments infused with nostalgia, such as family members praying together while young cousins fidget nearby. Collaborating with artist Sumayah Fallatah on the sound design, she further enhances the sensory experience, incorporating Arabic phrases that reinforce the thematic elements.

The closing scene of Sultan's installation hints at the possibility of expanding her concept into a series, embracing the theme of "Children of the Sea" as a continuation of her exploration of human experiences.

Ultimately, Sultan's art serves as a reflection of her own emotions and experiences, inviting viewers to empathize with her perspective while also finding connections to their own lives. Her work transcends mere escapism, encouraging contemplation of the complexities of existence and the shared human experience.

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