Ahmed Mater

"Like few cities on earth, Makkah bristles under the weight of its own dramatic symbolism. It is a hallowed site revered by millions and at the same time a point of perpetual immigration. This has been the case for centuries. Yet over the last few years the city has begun to be recast, reworked and ultimately reconfigured. Makkah is being given a makeover. With this comes a new set of concerns. There is a dissonance today among many of those who live in the city or maintain an emotional stake in its future regarding what this place is, what it could be or what it should be, all of which provides a contextual background to Mater’s urban exploration."

Henry Hemming

1979 born in Abha, lives in Jeddah.

Ahmed Mater works as an artist and medical doctor and splits his time between Abha, Jeddah and Makkah in Saudi Arabia. He has attracted international attention for his groundbreaking work, which encompasses photography, calligraphy, painting, installation, performance and video.  His work explores the narratives and aesthetics of Islamic culture in an era of globalization, consumerism and transformation. His recent work increasingly uses image and video to explore local collective memory and unofficial histories behind contemporary Saudi Arabian sociopolitical  life.

Mater is one of the founders of the Al-Meftaha Arts Village in Abha and in 2003 co-founded the Edge of Arabia collective which connected a new generation of Saudi artists with international audiences.


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