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Abdullah AlOthman

Every scientific theory contains an element of poetry — the poetic refraction of light is summed up in the “phenomenon of mirage.” The mirage has brought hope to the souls of desert inhabitants, taught them patience, and gave them the luxury of dreaming; imagining water so that they could propel each step, providing the determination to reach their destination. The desert mirage was a long-lived inspiration, saving the desert people from death, carrying them from fatigue and despair, and giving them the ability to continue onward. Even after they knew that it was an unreachable mirage, it remained in their souls as a cause for hope and deliverance.

This work seeks to manifest the experience of reaching out to the mirage and capturing it for the first time. The intangible reality of the mirage and its history in desert heritage and Islamic culture serve as the artist’s inspiration to transmute dreams into reality in the AlUla desert. The visual composition of the work is taken from the most prominent mountains in Saudi Arabia and their stories. Using stainless steel, the material interacts with the refraction of light and produces a mirage to create a radiant space.

Abdullah AlOthman (b. 1985, Saudi Arabia, based in Riyadh) is an artist and published contemporary poet born in Riyadh. He believes that the purpose of art goes beyond illustrating issues or applying wisdom. As such, he begins his work at marginal areas and treats them as the center at which his pieces come together. He works in different artistic styles and media, including poetry, video, graffiti, street art and interventions, and installations. The artist’s solo shows include The Question/More Questions, Aloan Artspace, Riyadh (2014). He has exhibited in group shows internationally, including in India, the United States, and most recently at the Diriyah Contemporary Art Biennale.

Geography of Hope
26°39’03.8”N 37°59’34.4”E
AlUla, Saudi Arabia
Desert X AlUla 2022