Exhibition – Jawahir: Jewels


Jawahir: Jewels is an exhibition that will be held at the Deer Lake Art Gallery, and is hosted and organized by the Burnaby Arts Council. The exhibition will open Saturday, August 18, 2018 and will run until September 15, 2018.

Being a visual artist who originated from Saudi Arabia and lives in Canada, Durrah Alsaif‘s artistic practice revolves around sociopolitical issues. Most of her artwork discuss issues that are considered culturally taboo to talk about in her home country. Alsaif believes that addressing and critiquing certain topics especially through art is one step of making change. Through photography, performances, and installations, Alsaif explore the cultural identity between the East and the West as well as the status of women in Saudi Arabia. In the Middle East, culture, traditions, and religion are often intertwined to the point that there are no lines between them. In fact, many religious practices and beliefs are purely tribal traditions, and against the Islamic religion. Alsaif’s work investigates the historical status of Saudi citizens especially women after the Sahwa Movement (Islamic Awakening) and how it affected the culture thereafter.

Durrah Alsaif is an interdisciplinary artist, who received her B.F.A. in 2017 from Kwantlen Polytechnic University and was awarded the Margaretha Bootsma Award for Exceptional Achievement in the Graduation Exhibition. Alsaif currently has her work Qimash on display to the general public at Stadium/Chinatown Skytrain station in Vancouver, BC as part of the Capture Photography Festival in collaboration with TransLink. Alsaif has exhibited at galleries such as the Presentation House Gallery, where she was selected as runner-up for the 2nd annual Philip B. Lind Emerging Artist Prize in 2017 and the Surrey Art Gallery, where she was awarded the Second Place 3D Works Award in 2018. Originally from Saudi Arabia but now living in Canada, she is interested in Middle Eastern experience in the West particularly as it relates to cultural identity and perception.