Dana Awartani

An Exhibition Of Saudi Contemporary Art Explores The Universal Elements Of Time And Space

August 6, 2019 - Rebecca Anne Proctor_Harper Bazaar Arabia

The exhibition, which takes place at Ithra, the King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture, displays the work of some of Saudi Arabia’s most pivotal contemporary artists


Three old wooden doors are inexplicably alluring. The first one is colored in a vibrant shade of turquoise yet numerous scratchings on its surface tell of years of use. The central one, unpainted and found in a light tan hue, is the most intact of all three and has a silver door handle while the third is the most battered, scratched and beaten—time has worn its originally soft surface into a battlefield of a wear and tear.

It’s become battered, discarded and devoured by the harsh desert and beaming with one last purpose through Saudi artist Moath Alofi’s work, The Doors of Thad (2019), part of the ongoing project The Last Tashahhud.


4 Saudi Artists Open Their Studios In Jeddah And Riyadh

August 1, 2019 - Harper's Bazaar Art

Dana Awartani, Abdulnasser Gharem, Ayman Yossri Daydban and Basmah Felemban take us inside their Saudi Arabia-based studios

Ayman Yossri Daydban: “I see my studio as an important piece of artwork—it is always changing, never settling in one location. I never decided what medium I will use—sometimes I paint, sometimes I crush elements together and sometimes I mix unconventional, untraditional styles together. I will keep searching for answers. I am currently working on a solo exhibition with Athr Gallery which will launch in September.”


‘Reframe Saudi’ Helps Share Saudi Arabia’s Incredible Story

March 18, 2018 - Mariam Nihal

It features Ahmad Angawi, Dana Awartani, Rashed Al-Shashai, Ajlan Gharem, Zahra Al-Ghamdi, Ayman Yossri Daydban, Jameela Mater, Ahaad Alamoudi and Ali Mogawi working within the confines of their studios between Jeddah, Abha and Riyadh. The movie is shot around the Kingdom showcasing the stunning landscape and never-seen-before footage of rural and present-day spaces in a manner that transports one to Saudi Arabia via a VR headset. “Reframe Saudi is a VR documentary about the art scene in Saudi Arabia, 


The Clock are Striking Thirteen

February 8, 2018

Opening on Thursday, February 8th, at 7:30pm, Athr presents “The Clocks Are Striking Thirteen”, a group exhibition, as part of 21,39 Jeddah Arts. The participating artists are Aya Haidar, Ayman Yossri, Dana Awartani, Larissa Sansour, Maha Nasrallah, Moath Alofi, Mohammed Abdelrasoul, Mohammed Al Faraj, Mohammed Monaiseer, Muhannad Shono, Nasser Al Salem, Reem Al Nasser, Sara Abdu, Tamara Al Samerai, Wael Shawky and Zahra Al Ghamdi. The exhibition is curated by Maya El Khalil.

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Cultural connection: An exhibition examines the parallels between spiritual and urban cultures in Saudi Arabia and Utah

September 13, 2017 - Jyoti Kalsi

The exhibition, curated by Jared Steffensen of UMOCA, features works by established and emerging Saudi artists such as Abdullah AlOthman, Abdulnasser Gharem, Ahmed Mater, Arwa Alneami, Nugamshi, Dana Awartani, Ghada Al Rabea, Khalid Bin Afif, Khalid Zahid, Lina Gazzaz, Moath Alofi, Musaed Al Hulis, Nasser Al Salem, Nouf Alhimiary, Qamar Abdulmalik, Rashed Al Shashai, Telfaz11, Yusef Alahmad and Balqis AlRashed, who is the first international artist to do a residency at UMOCA.

“This exhibition examines the parallels between spiritual and urban cultures in Saudi Arabia and Utah, especially the symbolism of creativity that connects cities of pilgrimage in both places. Since the 7th Century, the holy cities of Makkah and Medina have drawn millions of Muslim pilgrims every year to worship at the holiest sites in Islam. Salt Lake City was established nearly a thousand years later by Mormon pioneers in search of a safe haven for their newly established religion. Members of the Church of Latter Day Saints also make a twice-annual pilgrimage of the faithful to the General Conference at Temple Square — the spiritual centre of the Mormon faith,” Steffensen says.

“The artists featured in this show are engaged in looking at the struggles and transformations of their society and delving into complex issues that link Utah and Saudi Arabia, such as oil, pilgrimage and tension surrounding commercial development around important cultural and religious heritage sites. 

Call to action at the heart of sixth Marrakech Biennale

March 17, 2016 - By Myrna Ayad

The show is politically charged and runs on the high-octane passion of its curator. “I am a very political person and I am Palestinian,” she says. “But I don’t need to be a Palestinian in Palestine. Palestine is everywhere and that is why I aspire to decolonisation.” 

Jeddah Arts 21, 39: Man’s relationship with Earth in spotlight

February 17, 2016 - By Talal Al-Tukhaes for Saudi Gazette

Interestingly, this year’s exhibition inspiration for ‘Earth and Ever After’ comes from the Holy Qur’anic verses: “From this dust We created you, and in this We shall put you back, and from this, We shall raise you up once again.” (20:55) and “And Allah has made the Earth a spread for you, so that you may go about its broad ways.” (71:20). 

Explore the Hidden Qualities of Quantities With Dana Awartani

September 13, 2015 - By Mariam Nihal for Saudi Gazette

Showcasing three new projects based on the study of numbers, Awartani uses various contexts from a geometric standpoint proving that it is still very much a relevant theme in the Saudi art world. 

Speaking exclusively to Saudi Gazette, she said: “The abjad and numerical squares have played a fundamental role in my research where I am trying to examine the significance and hidden qualities of individual numbers and show how they have not only influenced our culture, religion and our arts but also looking at how the Islamic empire were the pioneers at the time when it came to this subject.” 

Dana Awartani: Transforming Faith Into Sacred Islamic Art

November 15, 2014

Awartani: “A lot of people, when they create art, they abide by Western rules. Even the popular artists, even when they take Oriental themes, they use Western forms. Why should they have to follow that? They should be more original and unique. The Arab world should make art as much as the Western world.” 

The Crucial Role of Geometry in Islamic Art

July 27, 2014 - By Malikka Bouaissa for Al Arte Magazine

Dana Awartani is an experienced traditional artist based in Saudi Arabia and the United Kingdom. Dedicated to the revival of historical crafts from the Islamic world, Dana works with a wide range of materials including ceramics, natural pigments, and woodwork inspired by centuries of historical Islamic geometry and patterns. A Q&A with Dana Awartani.