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Saudi artist to mentor British, GCC creatives in exchange program

  1. Manal Al-Dowayan’s work featured worldwide, including London, Riyadh, LA

  2. Connect ME program fosters cultural, artistic exchange between UK, Gulf

LONDON: A multimedia artist from Saudi Arabia has been selected to lead mentoring on a program launched to foster digital artistic exchange and collaboration between the UK and Gulf states.

Launched by the British Council and the Arab British Centre, the Connect ME Digital Residency program pairs young and upcoming artists from the Gulf and the UK as part of a four-week program of digital collaboration under the mentorship of a leading artist or creator.

The winter edition of the program — the second so far — will be led by Manal Al-Dowayan, whose work in sound, video, neon and sculpture has been featured in collections worldwide, including in Riyadh, London and Los Angeles.

“I am delighted to have been invited to mentor on this program, and am intrigued to see what these exciting artists will produce over the duration of the Connect ME digital residency,” she said.

“They represent a new generation of emerging creatives whose paths are being uniquely shaped by the pandemic and its impacts on the cultural sector.”

Artists under Al-Dowayan’s leadership for this edition will come from Saudi Arabia, the UAE and the UK.

Among the mentees will be young Saudi artist Meshal Al-Obaidallah. Born in Washington DC and now based in Riyadh, he won the 4th International Emerging Artist Award in Dubai.

Since then, he has produced conceptual work covering the geopolitical landscape of the Arab world and the region in general.

The Connect ME program was developed as a digital continuation of the Arab British Centre’s Making Marks creative exchange program, which focuses on the development of artists from the UK and the Arab world through international exchange programs, commissions and opportunities for artistic collaboration.



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