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RIYADH: An exhibition on the life of the late plastic artist Mohammed bin Musa Al-Salim was held from Nov. 16-25 in his birthplace of Marat, a town northwest of Riyadh.

The Back to Marat exhibition displayed 24 paintings by Al-Salim, in addition to a number of rare photographs and press clippings, giving visitors an insight into the different stages of the artist’s life.

Al-Salim grew up in Marat before moving to Riyadh. He died in Prato, Italy.

The exhibition included 24 paintings drawn up by the late plastic artist, Mohammed bin Musa ‎Al-Salim, in addition to a group of rare official ‎and family photos. ‎(Supplied)

The exhibition also featured poems written by the late artist before his death, pictures of his last exhibitions in Italy as well as a TV interview.

Back to Marat was inaugurated by Saad bin Amash, the area’s governor, in the presence of an elite group of writers, intellectuals, media ‎figures and artists.

Al-Salim worked as a shepherd for his grandmother’s sheep in Marat when he was young, and the attractive natural landscapes and town’s skyline inspired his work.

The exhibition was the the brainchild of Najla Al-Salim, the artist’s eldest daughter, and it was curated by Dr. Iman Al-Jibreen, a modern and contemporary art history professor, who was responsible for preparing the artistic content of the exhibition.

“This exhibition is very important in two aspects: The first of which is that it sheds light on one of the symbols of Saudi plastic art and introduces people to the efforts made, challenges, successes and failures,” said Al-Jibreen.

“The second aspect is that it is an attempt to create some balance in the cultural movement between the regions of the Kingdom, especially the small cities, to raise the quality of life therein and limit the migration of young people to the major cities,” she added.

“The reality of the arts in the Kingdom is a cause for pride and its future is promising, as artistic events in the Kingdom have now become an event that those interested in the arts in neighboring countries and many other countries look forward to.”

Najla, who is also a plastic artist like her father, said: “As a daughter of the artist Mohammed Al-Salim, I feel proud that the first plastic arts hall in Marat was named after my father.

“My happiness increased with Dr. Iman Al-Jibreen’s cooperation in presenting a brief story about my father as a retrospective exhibition through pictures of him with the people of Marat in the past. Paintings of Marat was the main theme, and even when my father was in Italy, he painted Marat out of love and warmth,” she added.

“Working with Dr. Iman in itself is encouraging and enjoyable. As a researcher in the history of Saudi art, she was able to discover pictures and news about my father that I did not know before.”

Najla said she was overwhelmed by the reactions of visitors, as “for the first time, many families gathered in one place, women, men and children … everyone remembers Al-Salim and tells a story or situation about him, and they are proud of Al-Salim’s status and his art.”


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