A rock and a hard place

A couple of months ago, right before the low residency in fact, I had a bit of a tough time. I had been battering away at Jeddah’s closed doors for the whole of Unit 1 and I guess I felt a little low at the realization that, while I had made some progress, Jeddah wasn’t the IDEAL place to grow as an artist. There was so little happening here, and so much preference given to Saudi artists even when it did, and so much barrier to freedom of expression. But I decided to keep going and I applied to Athr Art’s residency program. I didn’t get selected, which was a bummer, but wouldn’t have stopped me from trying again. The trouble was, around the same time The Citizen’s Foundation (TCF) invited me to send them artwork for their exhibition in Dubai and later there was trouble with sending/seeing the tangible work and it petered out to nothing. It was such a disheartening moment! Staying in Jeddah meant facing barriers not only on the ground, but also bearing the opportunity cost of not having been somewhere else!


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