The winner of the third edition of the Ithra Art Prize is Saudi-based Fahad bin Naif, for his proposed installation Rakhm, meaning ‘incubation’ in Arabic.
Bin Naif’s installation Rakhm aims to conceptually preserve a nursery as both an urban typology and its ‘incubatees’ as an environmental micro-economy. The title of the installation mirrors both the sensitivity and urgency of the content, safely and carefully incubating an intelligent green infrastructure. Rakhm is a Polytunnel nursery that mimics the existing urban nurseries in the Kingdom with endemic plants and flowers instead of conventional foreign houseplants. Unlike most nurseries, however, the viewer can only experience the exterior of the nursery, which mirrors the general local approach to xeriscaping wherein local foliage is not an environmental or aesthetic priority. The experience of the viewer from the outside also highlights the notion that contextually there is very little interaction between local human inhabitants and local plant-life and the importance on an environmental level of changing this narrative.