Stroll through this open-air museum of large-scale sculptures in Riyadh

Tuwaiq Sculpture returns for its 4th edition and runs until February 10…

Let’s face it: discovering art in an urban landscape beyond the walls of a museum allows everyone from fledgling enthusiasts to discerning aficionados to experience unexpected encounters with works that reflect the sky and initiate silent dialogues with nature.

To get a sense of this, look no further than the fourth edition of Tuwaiq Sculpture, which runs until Friday February 10, at Durrat Al Riyadh.

Here’s all you need to know about the annual sculpture symposium in Riyadh.

What is Tuwaiq Sculpture?

Tuwaiq Sculpture

Part of the broader Riyadh Art program, it is one of the largest public art projects undertaken in the world today. Tuwaiq Sculpture seeks to turn Riyadh into a “gallery without walls” with more than 1,000 permanent public artworks to be displayed across the city in the coming years. Launched in 2019, Tuwaiq Sculpture has since engaged with 90 renowned local and international artists and thousands of visitors.

See artists in action

For 2023, the event is curated by Marek Wolynski and explores the theme of ‘Energy of Harmony’, which reflects on the fundamental characteristics of human existence. It encourages artists to reimagine sculptural possibilities and capture manifestations of the ephemeral processes of introducing, witnessing and experiencing change.

Tuwaiq Sculpture

And for the first time since its launch, Tuwaiq Sculpture will be using stone sourced from Saudi Arabia, specifically granite and Riyadh stone, also known as sandstone.

Visitors can witness live sculpting by 30 local and international artists from 10am to 5.30pm every day of the week. The sculptors are producing their sculptures on a dedicated site in Durrat Al Riyadh until Thursday February 2. Advance booking is not required to see the live sculpting. However, tours of the site will take place based on availability.

Tuwaiq Sculpture

Once the sculptural works are completed, they will culminate in an exhibition from Sunday February 5 to Friday February 10 at the same site.

Attend a diverse program of interactive workshops and panel talks

This year’s public program boasts a series of engaging workshops that explore sculptural forms in diverse ways and across various materials. They will take place in two locations, Durrat Al-Riyadh and Riyadh Art Space at JAX District, with beginner and intermediate-level activities conducted in English and Arabic.

Tuwaiq Sculpture metal wiring

Highlights include the Traditional Doors Art workshop by Faris AlHarmah, where participants can learn about the rich design of Saudi Arabia’s old wooden doors and carve their own inspired designs on wood. In addition, the intermediate workshop, Wood Sculpting, led by the Madain Centre, will allow creatives to take their skills further using traditional tools for carving.

Other workshops will explore jewellery-making, metal wire sculpting, gypsum sculpting, and learning how to render facial parts in sculpture. Meanwhile, a line-up of panel discussions will cover relevant topics on contemporary sculpture and art featuring leading experts and artists working today. Different topics in sculpture, including the history of Saudi stone, stone engraving and its history in the Kingdom, and the transition of the medium from its ancient beginnings to its current conceptual forms, will be discussed too.

Tuwaiq Sculpture 2023, until Feb 10, Durrat Al Riyadh, King Fahd Rd, Banban, Exit 6, Durrat, Riyadh 13571.

Visit: RiyadhArt.sa

Images: Provided