Alāan Artspace launched its opening on last 3rd evening with SoftPower. Alāan Artspace is a multi-functional contemporary gallery, educational hub, library, restaurant, shop and coffeehouse located in the heart of Riyadh.
Dedicated to nurturing emerging and established contemporary artists and designers from Saudi Arabia, the region and across the globe, Alāan Artspace’s programme offers a platform for curated exhibitions and a non-profit educational forum for artists, creative practitioners and art enthusiasts of all ages.
Alāan – which means ‘now’ in Arabic – reflects the energy of the art scene in Saudi and the feeling in Riyadh that a space such as this is long overdue.
Its inaugural exhibition, SoftPower, brought together the works of three talented female artists from Saudi Arabia, Sarah Abu Abdallah, Manal AlDowayan, and Sarah Mohanna Al Abdali.
Sarah Abu Abdallah’s video presents a wrecked car sourced from a local junkyard. “The artist superimposes her own experience onto the object,” said Neama Alsudairy, the founding director of the new gallery.
Manal Al-Dowayan’s installation incorporates large prayer beads, decorated with the names of individual anonymous women, which were painted in community workshops.
Sarah Mohanna Al-Abdali’s paintings and works on paper depict female figures whose bodies are cloaked in geometric patterns, including a series of arayis (brides) planted head first into the soil.