Saudi artist explores ‘Anatomy of winning’


Saudi Gazette

As part of the ongoing 21,39 Jeddah Arts exhibition ‘Refusing To Be Still’, Saudi artist Filwa Nazer exhibited a triptych based on the first official Saudi football team.

‘Anatomy of winning’ is a three-panel work on paper, which combines a blurry collage of historical images relating to the celebrated Saudi football club Al- Ittihad, formed in 1927. Nazer chose Al-Ittihad, meaning The Union, to raise questions on its identity and whether the values that were at the heart of both Jeddah and the club since its inception are still relevant today. The club, which was originally established in Jeddah, was formed by a group of Saudi football enthusiasts who reportedly met at a radio broadcasting company and contemplated forming a club that would not just facilitate sports but would also serve as an entertainment platform for the youth and general public.

So far the club has won 36 official championships and eight League titles

In the piece, Nazer reflects on the club’s history, it’s glory, struggles and how it managed to mirror Jeddah’s social fabric, socio political and economic influences over the years. This is illustrated with faded and blank spaces within the collage that seem to outline the club’s feats and failures.

“It is layered in parts with collage of images of footballers and images of them with trophies and various cups,” Nazer told Saudi Gazette. “The contrast of collage interrupts the almost abstract flow of the background image and creates tension in the visual narrative,” she explained. The artist lives in between London and Jeddah. Her works usually explore themes of cultural displacement, identity, and socio-political influences through various mediums including print, digital, photography and collage. ‘Anatomy of winning’ will be displayed at Gold Moor Mall in Jeddah until 5th of May.

Visiting Days & Hours:

Monday – Thursday 1pm – 8pm

Friday: 5pm – 8pm

Saturday: 10am – 8pm

Follow the artist on Instagram @fillimore