The Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU), Saudi Arabia has announced the launch of its latest artist residency programme in partnership with the French Agency for AlUla Development (Afalula).
Artists in Hegra
The Artist Residency Programme aims to nurture creativity, engage communities and shine a new light on the beauty and regeneration of AlUla’s unique heritage and landscapes. It aims to foster dialogue, exchange and collaboration between the artists in residence and the scientific community on the ground in AlUla, as well as local practitioners and members of the local community.
A group of six artists have been selected to absorb and research the local heritage and play a major role in transforming the area into a cultural hub. The artists will work alongside archaeologists, botanists, water specialists, craftsmen, oasian agro-systems specialists, and perfume scientists who will provide them insights into the workings of the land.
This in-depth collaboration with the experts will give them the opportunity to be part of the research that is currently undertaken in AlUla – a living museum.
The group of artists is made up of three men and three women from Saudi Arabia, France, Morocco, the Philippines, the UAE and USA. The selection criteria was based on a mix of the artist’s experiences and technical abilities. They will undertake a diversity of practices to celebrate this new AlUla Artist Residency, including visual arts, mixed media, installations, poetry, performance and documentary photography.
They will take part in workshops and public talks throughout the programme and will showcase their ongoing research through an Open Studio in December, proposing a fresh look at how to give a new lease of life to the land and to make sure it is connected to its history.
Nora Aldabal, Executive Director of Arts and Creative Industries, RCU said: “The latest Artist Residency will build on the foundations of our pilot programme, and is our next step in shaping the ever-evolving legacy of AlUla. The local community of AlUla and the artists will both play fundamental roles in combining the essence of a place, local histories and artistic skill. Additionally, whatever their angle of approach or their preferred technique, this research residency will offer these six artists an exceptional and inimitable field of investigation.”