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Art Ecosystems Ripple Change

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27th Apr 2021

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Saudi Arabia’s Noor Riyadh Festival of Lights
Art shows leave an imprint on the attendees in a way that encapsulates the collective feeling or intelligence from a particular time period. Those in search of the zeitgeist for the year may check out art events in order to get the feeling of what inspired the artists leading up to the event or a feeling for what’s next. Artists create from their interpretations of what is happening around them. Artists are canaries in the coal mines of politics, natural disasters, and economic woes. Their works may also serve as intuition to indicative the tides of change upon the horizon of history. Feelings left in the visitor can ripple out into the world at large as a key moment of reflection. 

The art ecosystem is a very special fishbowl of interactions. Princess Alia Al-Senussi says she loves this term as it makes sense that art influences society in a circular fashion - bound to reinspire art again. Countries that live many years enduring political oppression are clearly homes to artists that depict politically charged art. Part of the art world is very hopeful for the upcoming year. Women and artists of color are finally being rewarded for their role in the arts at all levels of recognition. Art fairs offer a moment to embrace what is happening in the world, not just by seeing the art, but also by who you’re interacting with. That is the art world ecosystem. 

The idea that there are worlds within worlds in the art landscape is another important topic that gets discussed in this podcast. The contemporary digital art and NFT craze may be an attempt by some to ‘replace’ the long-standing traditional art scene. Princess Alia Al-Senussi emphatically wishes that scene good luck! Maybe a few people think that they are smart or have money or both - but upending the longstanding art world will take more than a record-breaking Beeple Sale! 

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Noor Riyadh
Saudi Arabia’s Noor Riyadh Festival of Lights is mentioned as one of the highlights for cultural growth around embracing the arts. “Noor Riyadh is a new city-wide annual festival of light and art consisting of numerous public art installations across Riyadh city, and "Light Upon Light," a landmark exhibition of light arts from the 1960s to present day.” The influence of the event can’t be understated as the city of Riyadh is set to double in size by 2030, to about 15 million people. This will have a huge effect on the cities presence in the global perspective. Art has the power to influence people and to change culture. Riyadh Art recognizes this in its vision: “Riyadh, the capital city of Saudi Arabia, has launched a civic art initiative of unprecedented scale to spectacularly transform public spaces, create a movement for artistic expression through community engagement, and accelerate the development of its cultural economy.” Change is the only constant and art is a very subtle subconscious driver of changing the culture of a place.

Princess Alia urges listeners to get involved in art! Create groups, get excited about the upcoming year, and support artists and museums by participating in events that stimulate a reverence for the arts. Art makes culture and what are we without culture?

Swing by the Hub Culture Chronicles Podcast Gallery: The Chronicle Discussions, Episode 48: Worlds Within Worlds - A Voyage with Princess Alia Al-Senussi and consider supporting the TATE