Aya Haidar

Abu Dhabi Art 2021 promises plenty of opportunities for change after the pandemic

November 15, 2021 - Alexandra Chaves for The National News

The halls of Manarat Al Saadiyat have been repopulated with artists, gallerists, curators and visitors as Abu Dhabi Art returns to a physical format this year.

More than 600 artworks are on display in booths across three galleries in Manarat Al Saadiyat. 

Among the standout booths is Athr Gallery from Jeddah, showcasing ink on paper works by Yemeni artist Sara Abdu, collages by Saudi artist Mohammed Al Faraj and mixed media pieces by Lebanese-British artist Aya Haidar.



In Conversation With Curators, Hamza Serafi And Munira Al Sayegh, On Why Now Is The Time To Invest In Saudi Arabia's Art Scene

July 20, 2021 - Wided Rihana Khadraoui - Harper's Bazaar Arabia

“The role of collectors is essential to art movements and culture, both in Saudi Arabia and internationally,” says Hamza Serafi, a self-taught artist and co-founder of Jeddah’s Athr Gallery, one of the country’s leading cultural and commercial art spaces. “Collectors play a massive role in the world of contemporary art.”

The Kingdom’s art scene is undeniably flourishing with the support from the government, at an unprecedented rate. “We are experiencing and living through one of the most current movements which covers the whole spectrum.” Like neighbouring Gulf countries, Saudi Arabia is investing heavily in the arts and culture sector, building new museums and hosting exhibitions and events to encourage a whole new generation of art lovers.




Gulf galleries at Cromwell Place bring the best of Abu Dhabi Art to London: a review

June 10, 2021 - Melissa Gronlund at the National

London's Cromwell Place launched last October during Frieze London. The idea of the South Kensington site is to offer members exhibition space as and when they need it, rather than galleries occupying a permanent home. So far, it has proven sensible for Arab galleries in particular. Many of their collectors live in London or Europe and, with the pandemic, a second outpost has been especially important.

Last week, a group of Gulf galleries installed exhibitions at the UK hub, painting a multi-generational portrait of regional art. Anchored by the curated show of Abu Dhabi Art, Cromwell Place is also hosting Lawrie Shabibi, Gallery Isabelle van den Eynde, Tabari Artspace and The Third Line from Dubai, and Hafez Gallery and Athr from Jeddah.


How Art Dubai's Inclusive New Direction Is A Win For Us All

March 13, 2019 - Emma Hodgson_ Graizame

Another such partnership sees the work of Aya Haidar on display this year. The Lebanese-British artist, was born in the US, lived in Saudi Arabia until she was six, before relocating to the UK. Speaking about her upbringing, she reveals, “It’s such a big mix, it’s something that I wanted to be able to place my own narrative on.”


“All my work uses objects I’ve reappropriated. It’s important because there are stories that are inherent in these objects One of the main aspects of Aya’s work focuses on used items. “All my work uses objects I’ve reappropriated. It’s important because there are stories that are inherent in these objects she continues. Her work documents the effects of war, and the changes which have taken place in Lebanon over the past 50 years and further in the country’s past. 


Saudi Arabia’s Contemporary Art Scene Is Suddenly Buzzing, With the Crown Prince’s Blessing—and His Backing

February 27, 2018 - Arsalan Mohammad_ Artnet

“Saudi is the fastest-evolving society I have been to,” the formerly Jeddah-based artist Aya Haidar told artnet News. “The levels of creativity, from underground poetry slams to rooftop book fairs…. Everyday change is owned by the people.” The changes, she says, are part of a “bottom-up process that is forcing the formal structures ‘up top’ to listen and adapt toward a modern-day Saudi.”


The new Misk Art Institute is planning an art center in Riyadh, an Arab art festival in New York in October, and an educational exchange program that will send Saudi artists to California. Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman first tapped Ahmed Mater, one of Saudi’s best-known artists, to head up the institute about a year and a half ago.



Saudi Art Council Gears Up For Annual Contemporary Art Event

February 5, 2018 - Katrina Kufer_ Harper's Bazaar Arabia

21,39 is back for its fifth edition under the theme 'Refusing To Be Still' and will show across multiple venues in Jeddah from 7 February to 5 May.

Featuring over 30 Saudi and international artists, this year’s edition of 21,39 takes a fresh look at the growing Saudi contemporary art landscape. Taking place across three venues, the main group exhibition Refusing To Be Still will be held at the Gold Moor Mall, Rubat Al Khunji and an empty PepsiCo factory. A second group exhibition is hosted at ATHR gallery entitled The Clocks Are Striking Thirteen, while a third exhibition will showcase works by Ahmed Mater in Drum Roll, Please at King Abdullah Economic City. A diverse offering of family activities, book launches and trips are also scheduled.


Berlin Art Week: 10 things you shouldn't miss at ABC.

September 15, 2016 - By Monopol Magazine

First you think: Oh, a few post cards, how nostalgic. Move closer, you can see the embroidery on the images. Times bathers on the romantic cliffs wearing orange life jackets, as they have become a symbol for refugees, even additional tents in a mountainous landscape are embroidered. The London artist Aya Haidar has collected 100 postcards from vacation destinations in the fortress of Europe for her project titled "Wish you were here" and edited, and added a new dimension to the holiday.