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Art

Saudi artist Nada Halabi explores dreams through artwork

Rahaf Jambi

RIYADH: Contemporary Saudi artist, Nada Halabi, is exhibiting her “Dreams Unveiled” collection at Ahlam Gallery in Riyadh from June 4-15.

“There’s a lot of dreams in these paintings,” Halabi told Arab News. “So, it’s like all the years accumulated with time and all my dreams, like sometimes I wake up at 5:00 a.m. and write down what I see, and when I wake up again, I paint.”

Some of her works are inspired by the Renaissance era, a period of European cultural, artistic, political and economic “rebirth” after the Middle Ages.

“I enjoy combining Renaissance art with a contemporary touch of flair, and I chose Renaissance characters because I believe their style at that era was exceptional, and they were the true artists, so I transformed some of them into contemporary art,” said Halabi, who enjoys experimenting with different styles, colors and sizes.

Many things have influenced Halabi’s work as an artist. She enjoys traveling to different museums and finds inspiration in historic places and things.

“I get a lot of inspiration from travel, so when I go to Europe, I love to visit old and contemporary museums to get ideas. Then, when I return to Saudi Arabia, I just paint nonstop because everything is so new on my mind,” she said.

Halabi’s works reflect her time-consuming process.

“I lose myself while painting, and sometimes I paint something, then paint something over the top of it if I’m not content, until I’m happy with the end result,” she said.

The artist has clients of all ages. Some of her clients are art collectors, while others own museums.

She studied fine art at the Academie Libanaise de Beaux Arts in Lebanon before relocating to London and then Los Angeles, where she received more guidance from a well-known American artist. She has trained at schools of art in the UK and the US, and exhibited her work in exhibitions and galleries in the Middle East.

In her current exhibition, there is a section dedicated to Lebanon — featuring newspapers and the neon words “Disconnected Roots.”

Halabi said: “I lived in Saudi Arabia longer than I did in Lebanon, even though I was born and raised there, and this artwork shows how many countries are connected yet at the same time are disconnected due to political conflicts.”

Courtesy: arabnews