[ISEA2018] Artist Statement: Zahrah Alghamdi — AiL film program: Safar (travel)

Artist Statement

Art, Science & Us sub-programme

During her residency at Eawag, Zahrah Alghamdi has accompanied the Stream Ecology research group on three excursions to the Roseg Valley in the Engadine. Taking her inspiration from the activities of the scientists in the midst of the mountain terrain with its countless rivers and streams, she captured her impressions in the form of works that make use of found materials, directly intervening in the landscape. She created the pieces either by hand or using simple tools, and made use of materials that she mostly picked up in the Roseg Valley — such as sand from a river bank, or dried plants. This process enabled Alghamdi to tune in to an unfamiliar landscape and leave her own imprint on it while at the same time offering up these imprints to the effects of impermanence. Having been documented in a series of photographs, the works represent a moment in time, as do the scientific data collected in the Roseg Valley.  eawag.ch/en     en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Engadin      en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Val_Roseg

  • Zahrah Alghamdi grew up in south-western Saudi Arabia where she was surrounded by traditional domestic architecture with artistically decorated rooms. Her art practice is inspired by memories of places related to her childhood. She draws on the idea of ‘embodied memory’ and experiments with translating memory and the feeling of place into spatial installations. During her residency at Eawag, Alghamdi accompanied scientists on environmental sampling and field data collections. The artist’s personal experience and observations in this landscape inspired her to respond with her own gestures and develop minimal and poetic sculptural interventions on site. Alghamdi holds a PhD in Design and Visual Arts from Coventry University, UK and is an assistant professor at King Abdulaziz University’s Faculty of Art and Design in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Supported by artistsinlabs.ch/en