In conversation with 3 Saudi creatives showcasing at Art Dubai 2024

In conversation with 3 Saudi creatives showcasing at Art Dubai 2024

Over three days, the international art community will come together in the heart of Dubai and these three creatives talk to us about their inspiration, influences and creations
28 February 24
'Alwasm', Oil on Canvas by Alia Ahmad

In just a few days, Art Dubai will become the focal point for the international art world.

Taking place in the Jumeirah area of Dubai, the event brings together creatives from around the globe, through exciting exhibitions and an interesting artistic programme, which is set to include discussions innovation and modernity. The art event and showcase will take place over three days from March 1 to March 3.

Art Dubai will explore integrated sensory experience between artistic production and dialogue, aiming to cultivate conversation and knowledge exchange between artists and art lovers. The event will include a selection of solo and group presentations, in addition the presentation of new global perspectives to help develop and foster a culture and community of creativity and development, as well as a number of other events and workshops that will suit both adults and children.

And this year, a number of talented Saudi artists and creatives have contributed to Art Dubai.

These artists not only showcase the rich creative knowledge and talent that the Kingdom has to offer, but also how the deeply inherent and rich culture and passion for art over generations has influenced the works of modern artists hailing from Saudi.

Quirky and creative Saudi artist Muhannad Shono, is known for his diverse works spanning sculpture, installations, drawing, and even robotics, he draws inspiration from his vivid and futurstic imagination. Abdul Sattar Al-Mussa, an art graduate of Moscow University, honed his graphic and visual arts skills abroad and his work has been showcased across the world. Artist Maha Al-Mallouh's pieces aim to evoke emotion and memories, with her inspiration deeply rooted in Saudi culture and spirituality. Painter Alia Bint Ahmed's works focus on desert landscapes and nature, capturing the essence of both place and memory. Multimedia artist Hanaa Al-Milli specialises in textiles and assemblages, having previously showcased desert-inspired artwork in Riyadh. Fashion and textile designer Razan Al-Azouni's work embodies elegance and sophistication with luxurious fabric blends, a unique way to showcase creativity and artistry.

Now in its 17th edition, Art Dubai has solidified its position as a talent incubator for creatives, and plays a pivotal role in the vibrant, artistic environment in the region.

We spoke to three of these Saudi Arabian creatives taking part in the Art Dubai 2024 showcase about their inspirations, influences and artistic interests:

Abdul Sattar Al-Mussa: Nostalgia of the Eighties

Abdul Sattar Al-Mussa chose nine paintings to showcase at Art Dubai, the works depict social situations associated with daily life in the eighties, and aptly portray this 'look back' in time through scenes in black and white. Al-Mussa's work sharing stories of that time portraying it with beauty and simplicity: "Through my paintings I express my inner being, regardless of my life in Russia and its influence on me by default, my loyalty remained for my Saudi environment to which I come from."

Of his works and his life, like many Al-Mussa notes that "...nostalgia has accompanied me throughout my 33 years." The famed artist says that one of his paintings on display at Art Dubai, 'Abu Nusair's Coffeeshop – Qahwet Abu Nasser,' for example. (One of the paintings that will be displayed at Art Dubai) is "an embodiment of the coffeeshop that my friends and I used to go to during high school to have coffee and some of the popular snacks that were famous at the time. I tried to depict the features of the characters during their afternoon while having tea, including the elderly and those working in there. The memories are vivid in my mind."

Al-Mussa's works piqued interest in both the Russian and European artistic communities, as it unveils the authenticity of everyday life in the Kingdom, whether through traditional costumes, or local wedding celebrations, or day-to-day life which made him well known in the European artistic community.

Choosing to celebration and focus on the 1980s time period, Al-Mussa explains why the creations being shown at this year's Art Dubai are in black and white, and he aims to convey: "I chose the colours black and white, colours that form the basis of any graphic art, they are also suitable for reflecting on the era ...of... my work, just as the images of figures are reflected in the work I have selected for the Art Dubai, the human features bring vision and perception closer to the viewer, like subjective emotion. For me, facial expressions are very important to reveal the hidden essence in the painting. my main attention is on the human, the base of reality and life."


Hanaa Al-Milli: Wonderous Projections

"I am a hummingbird, humming over gardens, an eternal bond I hold on to, and on to you," these are some of the words that the artist Hanaa Al-Milli has attached to her artwork at the Art Dubai fair, aiming to express and illustrate the bonds between her and the women of her family, such as her grandmother, and her mother.

The work documents her memories, which since her childhood, have been filled with art and crochet in particular, which she and her grandmother used to do. The crochet embodying the strong ties, and physical act of the weaving, alongside the 'click-clack' sounds of the act, all of which are closely linked and mixed with each other.

The multimedia artist says about it: “This weaving piece of work carries the dynamism of colours and the vitality of emotion and memories.” "It is accompanied by the sounds that were present around me in my childhood. I used bright colours, such as pink, yellow, and orange. I really enjoyed working on it. For me, working with fabric and colours is a delight. I am very happy and excited to share some of my memories with the world through Art Dubai."

Hanaa invoked the attributes of humanity related to sand in her presented work at Nour Al-Riyadh (Riyadh Art) entitled "Journey Through the Ripples of Sand." The work was completed with desert related elements including silk, lights, and sounds. She refers to this experience, saying: “the idea came to me when I visited the desert, brought me back to the origins and roots, and I felt a sense of belonging through the content of this bond, between the human and the sand, all feelings of nostalgia and alienation disappeared there.”


Razan Al-Azzouni: A Story Behind Every Art Work

The fashionable creations of Razan Al-Azzouni bring together authenticity and elegance, and reflects beauty and femininity.

Working hard to illustrate her creative vision through fashion, in addition to incorporating her cultural heritage of the Eastern Province (Al-Khobar) into her designs, Al-Azzouni ensures that behind every bright, dangling pearl and lavish swathe of silk, there is a unique and authentic story.

The designer collaborated with the luxury Swiss watch brand Piaget to create a 240cm long, embroidered canvas that will be displayed at Art Dubai.

It is embroidered with silk and linen, and laden with pearls, gold, iron and beads, Al-Azzzouni says: "The idea behind this piece of art is to combine the details of the jewellery found in Piaget with the embroidery technique in the design. It carries, for example, many shapes of the palm tree (which symbolises the eastern region where I grew up), while the pearls are related to this (Gulf) region and the Kingdom as well. As for the gold carving movement, it is a Piaget brand’s style in jewellery-making. The canvas can be looked at from various angles and tells a story from every perspective!"


From March 1 -3
Tickets available via

Madinat Jumeirah Conference & Events Centre, Dubai, UAE @artdubai