THE OASIS REBORN ARTIST RESIDENCY

THE OASIS REBORN ARTIST RESIDENCY

1st November 2021 - 14th January 2022

The Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU) partnered with the French Agency for AlUla Development (Afalula) to create the first artist residency programme in AlUla. This edition, operated by Manifesto, was an eleven-week production and research-based residency (1 November 2021 - 14 January 2022) focusing on the oasis.

Six artists from different backgrounds and nationalities participated in the first AlUla Artist Residency: Rashed AlShashai, Sara Favriau, Talin Hazbar, Laura Sellies, Muhannad Shono, and Sofiane Si Merabet.

The residency was based on collaborations between the artists and a range of experts. Their weeks of exchanges and on-site research gave them insights into the heritage, nature and cultural meaning of the oasis. Throughout this process, the local community had a vital role in sharing the knowledge and skills of their land. In parallel, the artists, the experts, and the local community participated in a dynamic and regular public programme.

The Oasis Reborn edition is the first step towards building a continual programme of artists in residence – a key aspect in the long-term endeavour to nurture a flourishing creative industry and cultural economy in AlUla, continuing a legacy of the region being inspired and built by artists.

The ‘Oasis Reborn’ Exhibition will be opened to the public from 8 February to 31 March 2022 to present the artists’ research, and the works they created during the first AlUla Artist Residency.
Located in the palm-grove of Mabiti AlUla, the exhibition invites visitors and residents alike to immerse themself in the cultural oasis of AlUla and discover new perspectives on this ancient landscape.

Meet The Artists

Artist

Rashed AlShashai

Rashed AlShashai (b. 1977, Saudi Arabia, based in Riyadh) is a conceptual artist and arts educator. His work explores the purpose of human existence and the functions of society with everyday objects and imagery.

Artist

Rashed AlShashai

Recalling a past that now seems far away, Rashed AlShashai’s Thuraya reflects on links between our present — one that is supposedly witnessing unprecedented scientific progress — and the ancient worlds. Through a conceptual approach, the large-scale site-specific installation combines the history and the nomenclature of things and the environmental materials of the oasis that dwellers have used to make furniture pieces for daily life.

Artist

Sara Favriau

Sara Favriau (b. 1983, France, based in Paris) is a multidisciplinary artist. Her sculptures, installations and performances investigate the very permanence of self, nature, and works of art.

Artist

About “The Oasis is a Wadi Raised to the Sky”

The Oasis is a Wadi Raised to the Sky developed by Sara Favriau in AlUla takes three forms, three distinct steps corresponding to three related moments: small sculptures “Les Petits Riens” (“Trifles and Trinkets”), a filmed performance “Un jour sans fin” (“A Never-Ending Day”) and an installation “Ruban de Möbius” (“Möbius Strip”). These three forms question the notion of garden of the desert, and particularly of the oasis - our planet is a vast garden, after all, and the realms of the human and the animal are one.

Artist

Talin Hazbar

Talin Hazbar (b. 1988, Syria, based in Sharjah) is an architect and a visual artist. Her work and processes aim to showcase the overlapping boundaries in nature, history, and ecology.

Artist

About “Earth Readings”

Through a process of locating, sharing and collecting narrative, Talin Hazbar’s Earth Readings explores various relationships between the past and the present, the imperceptible and the material and focuses on map-making and mark-making narratives to embody the materiality and meaning of the land.

Artist

Laura Sellies

Laura Sellies (b. 1989, France, based in Paris) is a multimedia artist. In her work, she finds new ways to understand the relationship between sculptures, bodies, images, and sounds.

Artist

About “Peuplé de feuilles qui bougent"

Exploring individual, collective and scientific memories, Laura Sellies’ Peuplé de feuilles qui bougent (“Populated by Moving Leaves”) is an installation combining sculptures, sounds and texts. Invoking a palace of memories, these metal structures invite visitors to listen to the voices of the oasis: real or fictional, performed or recorded, voices of women and men, birds, camels, winds, water, rocks, and sand.

Artist

Sofiane Si Merabet

Sofiane Si Merabet (b. 1981, France, based in Dubai) is a multimedia artist. His work interrogates memories, identities, and migration.

Artist

Sofiane Si Merabet

Analysing the oasis as a motherly environment nurturing human presence through time, Sofiane Si Merabet’s It’s Not Early Anymore establishes a parallel on the recent development of the oasis of AlUla and the excitement around wedding celebrations. Both being rhythmed by seasons and affected by human actions, the idea of celebrations and the lifecycle of the palm tree as observed in the oasis are explored in this multimedia installation.

Artist

Muhannad Shono

Muhannad Shono (b. 1977, Saudi Arabia, based in Riyadh,) is a multidisciplinary artist whose work interrogates what lies beneath the surface of the human experience.

Artist

About “On This Sacred Day”

As a ritualistic catafalque, Muhannad Shono’s On this Sacred Day represents the cycle of death and renewal unfolds amongst the living oasis. From the smoke that rises are stories of comings and goings, loss, and remembrance.

Explore The World's Masterpiece

The World's Largest Living Museum Heritage

Take a journey to both the ancient and recent past. Uncover preserved tombs, sandstone outcrops, historic dwellings and monuments, both natural and man-made, that hold 200,000 years of largely unexplored human history.

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A DESERT OASIS BECKONS NATURAL WONDERS Nature & Outdoors

There’s a sense of openness, vastness and quiet that invites visitors to wander in AlUla – among dramatic rock formations, sand-swept dunes, lush valleys and ancient basalt lava flows.

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Thrilling experiences and outdoor excursions Adventure

By day, tour heritage sites, enjoy mountain hikes and experience thrills on zipline tours and cross through the dune on a leisurely bike ride. By night, relax with stargazing and other activities.

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A Land of Wondrous Inspiration Arts & Culture

From contemporary artists creating pieces made for the stunning desert backdrop to local artisans continuing the tradition of ancient handicrafts, the spirit of creativity and ingenuity can be discovered in every corner of AlUla.

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