EASY, Saudi Arabia,, June 29, 2022 / PRNewswire / – Famous artists Manal Al Douyan, Agnes Denes,, Michael Hayser,, Ahmed Mater and James Turrell will create permanent and age-defining new works for Wadi AlFann, an iconic new cultural destination that should open its doors by 2024 in the ancient Alula desert, on the Arabian Peninsula.
Wadi AlFann – meaning “Valley of the Arts” – stretches 65 square kilometers to the northwest Saudi Arabia. This inspiring presentation of contemporary art will see large-scale, site-specific works by some of the world’s most captivating artists, set permanently in the monumental landscape of Alula, an extraordinary region saturated with thousands of years of natural, historical and cultural heritage.
Historically located on the incense trade route, AlUla is home to the ancient Nabataean city of Hegra, of Saudi Arabia the first UNESCO World Heritage Site and was once the capital of the Kingdom of Dadan. Today it is a living museum of heritage, arts and nature, reviving its heritage as a vital cultural destination.
Wadi AlFann will welcome art lovers, adventurers and global travelers from around the world on a transformative cultural journey to a unique place of creative and geographical wonders, continuing the history of AlUla as a place for intercultural exchange. This epic new destination will provide unparalleled opportunities for local communities and visitors to experience art as a source of education and enrichment.
Created by renowned land art pioneers and artists at the forefront of contemporary practice, the concepts, vision and scale of Wadi AlFann’s orders will mark a new chapter in AlUla’s rich history. The first five works will explore themes such as collective memory, folklore, civilization, achievement, form, scale, myth, mirage, perception and the materiality of light. They will mark the beginning of a long program of commissions, and more artists will be announced.
This unprecedented, ambitious and visionary showcase will offer a deep opportunity to experience art in dialogue with nature. Learning from the desert, the commissioned artists will be inspired by its dramatic topography, undulating views, remarkable geology and complex ecosystem.
From the end of 2022, Wadi AlFann’s pre-opening program will include temporary exhibitions, artist residences and public symposia. A dynamic community program will accompany the unveiling of the first five works of art, including performances and tours of the valley, along with educational opportunities for local communities.
“Wadi AlFann will revitalize AlUla’s creativity and provide new transformative experiences for both locals and visitors,” said Nora Aldabal, Executive Director of Arts and Creative Industries at the Royal AlUla Commission. “This visionary destination will build a vibrant and a thriving local cultural economy, paving the way for the people of Alula to unlock creative potential. “
Consistent with the Saudi government’s holistic plan for the country as a whole, known as Vision 2030, Wadi AlFann is one of various new creative landmarks planned for AlUla as part of his master plan for time travel – developed by the Royal AlUla Commission and unveiled by His Royal Highness the Crown Prince – who will see 15 new destinations for culture, heritage and creativity, open until 2035.
You can see a new five-minute short film about Wadi AlFann here
You can see a one-minute version of the film here
Video offering commentary by Nora Aldabal, Executive Director of the Arts and Creative Industries at the Royal Commission for AlUla and Yvonne BlazwickChairman of the Royal Commission for the Expert Group on Public Art of AlUla, you can see here
You can see a roll of landscape footage by Wadi AlFann here
The depiction of Ashab Al-Lal by of Ahmed Mater can be found here
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SOURCE Royal Alula Commission