Arts & Culture

Open Studio at Intermix Highlights Landscape, Saudi Culture

The open studio at Intermix’s second residency provides entry into a zone of creative exploration where artists from around the world place landscapes and cultural elements at the heart of their works.

About 15 creative artists worked together over 10 weeks to create their own artistic vision, inspired by the fusion of visual arts and fashion, centered around themes of change, innovation and sustainability.

Artistic Exploration, Inspirations


“The residency moved me a lot forward,” Italian visual artist Ivo Godani told Arab News. I saw that not only in my products but also in my art. I feel mature and comfortable in what I do.

His artwork “ Ana Atabiaa” is a mixture of different media and is inspired by local flora and fauna. Additionally,  her studio displays small ceramic sculptures of oryx, camels, eagles and other animals, abstract botanical paintings and animal-like plant masks made with the help of two artisans.

He added: “When I work, I am always connected to the land in some way. I was looking at nature and the desert, and I went to AlUla and saw graves and eagles there. From there, I started making and studying desert animals.”

Open Studio’s artworks explore the nuances of human experience. They examine how individuals create memories, emotions, and symbols that shape relationships with the artists themselves and the natural world. This process creates an archive of experiences and possibilities.

Highlighted Artists, Their Works

The painting “Pieces of the Disappeared” by Saudi visual artist Maram Al-Sulaiman reflects his interest in background and heritage. She explores the why, how and impact of forgotten and discontinued traditions that are only temporarily preserved through oral transmission.

She told Arab News: “My family is from Najran, but I was born and raised in Jeddah, so I was always interested in learning more about Najran. Even if it is difficult for me to learn about it, even though my father is from there, how will others learn? I felt it was my responsibility to document this and tell people about it through my art.”

Al-Sulaiman added: “My father used to bring dates from Najran in these plastic bags. He was carrying food for him, but I wanted to use him to carry my traditions.


Cultural Narrative Through Fashion

American-born-and-raised Palestinian-Syrian designer Alaa Al-Sahli uses manipulation of materials and repetition to tell stories rooted in culture and space.

His project Intermix explores the idea of ​​conservation through architecture in Riyadh and beyond. Inspired by the geometric triangular shapes of traditional Najdi buildings made of clay, Al-Sahli creates fashion pieces from clay, rope and cloth.

Handcrafted Collections

His first collection combines each handcrafted ceramic piece with string to tie them together. Another model is created using muslin fabric, which is used as a pattern by most designers, and tied together with rope. The process of connecting each element to the next represents a belief in security.

He told Arab News: “The reconstruction phase – people are trying to bring the place back to life – here in Riyadh we see a lot of people with Diriyah and Al-Fujairi. This culture and style is very important to find. I wanted to translate it into fashion to express the idea of ​​reconstruction.

“When I started the project, I was thinking a lot about Saudi Arabia, but I felt bad about not being connected to myself and my identity. When I started thinking more about myself, I thought about Syria and Palestine, where the idea of ​​devastation and security came from.

The aim of the project is to develop a common visual language that celebrates the expressive potential of both visual arts and fashion design.

 Artists and Inspirations

Kuwaiti artist Maha Al-Athkar focuses on the relationship between nature and culture, with a particular focus on the natural colors. This led to research into herbal medicines and their historical use in pain management in women.

Egyptian fashion designer Somaya Abu Al-Ezz’s wearable abstract installations show elements of the caravan’s journey from Egypt to Mecca.

Residency’s Impact, Artistic Outputs

The Visual Arts Authority of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, in collaboration with the Fashion Authority, fully funds the Intermix Residency and hosts it at the JAX District in Diaa.

It aims to offer a supportive and creative environment for innovation, experimentation, and collaboration. Furthermore, this platform is for emerging and mid-career Saudi professionals, residents, fashion designers, and curators.

Related Topics :

Saudi Culture Min. Launches Kawn Culture Metaverse Platform

Riyadh Season: Celebrating Saudi Culture, Innovation, & Economic Growth

Saudi Culture Cooperates with British Science Museum Collection

Short link :

Related Stories

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button