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Unveiling of Ithra Art Prize 2019

Winner of the second edition of the Ithra Art Prize, Daniah Alsaleh exhibits her commission, Sawtam, for the first time at Art Dubai. The London-based Saudi Arabian artist has been working on realising her proposed artwork since being announced as this year’s prize winner in January.


Her large-scale multimedia artwork explores the structure and complexities of language, deconstructing it to its smaller unit of sound, the phoneme, which lends the large-scale multimedia artwork its name: Sawtam (the Arabic translation of phoneme).


Speaking on the unveiling of her commission at Art Dubai Daniah Alsaleh comments: “I am very honoured to have been chosen as the winner of this year’s Ithra Art Prize and have the opportunity to realize my proposal with the generous prize award.  Art Dubai is an important international art fair and I am delighted to exhibit the artwork here. Ithra and Art Dubai have been fantastic in their support and guidance throughout the past months to make this happen. Ithra’s initiative to support and promote Saudi and Saudi-based artists is a landmark in the Saudi art scene, which will contribute to the growing artistic cultural landscape of the region. I am humbled to be included and to contribute to such an institution and to have Sawtam be part of their extensive permanent collection.”

Daniah Alsaleh, Ithra Art Prize 2019, Art Dubai 2019, Courtesy of Photo Solutions

Ali Al-Mutairi, Director of the King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (Ithra), also commented: “After Ithra’s successful opening to the general public last year, we are thrilled to see the Ithra Art Prize proceed in its second edition. Our key commitment remains – to support and promote Saudi and Saudi-based talent. The Ithra Art Prize represents a major landmark towards this goal, and we are delighted to partner with Art Dubai once more in this regard. We congratulate Daniah on her achievement and look forward to supporting her on her journey.”

Sawtam, Ithra Art Prize 2019, Art Dubai 2019, Courtesy of Photo Solutions

The Ithra Art Prize is a collaboration between The King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (Ithra) in Saudi Arabia and Art Dubai. Launched in 2017, the aim of the Ithra Art Prize is to support and promote emerging Saudi contemporary artists on a truly global platform. The prize invites all Saudi and Saudi-based artists and collectives to submit proposals via an annual open call, with the prize winner receiving up to $100,000 to realize their proposed artwork, which is first shown at Art Dubai before moving to Ithra to be part of the Center’s permanent collection.

A panel talk on the Ithra Art Prize takes place at Art Dubai at 2pm on Friday, March 22.

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