Abdulhalim Radwi was the first artist chosen by Jeddah’s Mayor Mohammed Said Farsi to produce works of art for the city’s massive beautification project, which began in the 1960s. Born in the Holy City of Makkah, but later a proud Jeddah resident, Radwi began his career as an art instructor. In the late 1950s, Radwi began to take his own artistic talents more seriously by creating sculptures that caught the eye of Mayor Farsi. Radwi’s first attempts proved to be a learning experience for the talented artist. His preferred media for sculptures were clay and cement, but those materials proved to be too vulnerable for Jeddah’s brutal weather. Amazingly, he also began by fabricating his early creations on site under a large sunshade which shielded himself and the art from the harsh sun. Later on he learned to use natural materials like marble and iron for his sculptures and to work in the much more practical comfort of his studio. Radwi is credited with producing some fifteen sculptures, including this distinctive three piece work called Inkwell, Pen and Paper, made of clay and plaster. It has not fared so well now either, which is not surprising given its location next to the Red Sea. The scroll used to bear an inscription, now faded, quoted from the Quran, and the last time I saw this sculpture about one month ago, the pen was missing. Unfortunately vandalism occurs here too.
About This Blog, and About Me: Susie of Arabia
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, is KSA's 2nd largest city and is located on its west coast, right on the Red Sea. I moved here in 2007 with my Saudi hubby and teenage son. This journal reflects the things that I see here, life through my eyes, my lens.
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