The prestigious Dubai-based Artspace Gallery will hold an exhibition for Saudi Arabian artist Saddek Wasil, entitled Against All Odds. Artspace is committed to the promotion of contemporary Middle Eastern art and artists. The gallery is a regional leader and its second location in London caters to its extensive global clientele while bridging the gap between the eastern and western art scenes. We are also pleased to be collaborating with William Wagner Geneva, a luxury brand of Time Keeper and instrument of writing.
Saddek Wasil is a Saudi sculptor whose main medium is metal and discarded metallic material. His powerful sculptures exuberate a rejection of binding stereotypes and an iron will to defeat material subjugation for the sake of spiritual freedom. His artwork is not to be understood as a present state, as it holds the promise of future success in overcoming chains, locks and closed boundaries.
Wasil was born in Makkah Al-Mukarrama in 1973. His mother was a seamstress and his father was a mechanic. Thus, Saddek became accustomed to working with his hands and spent much of his youth in his father’s garage, where he learned how to weld and work with metal, mainly iron. During his free time, he often salvaged discarded car parts and metal scraps to create amorphous figures, distorted bodies and human masks from his imagination:
“I’m a hoarder, I don’t like to throw anything away. I don’t like the idea of discarding things. Nowadays, everything or everyone is dispensable. I suppose I try to show that you can find value in anything, or anyone”.
As with many artists, Saddek is influenced by his surroundings and the happenings of the world around him, with particular focus on humans and human emotions. In Makkah, Wasil is a witness to the daily struggles of his fellow man, as well as an observer of their innermost struggles at the moment when they are at their most vulnerable, in the house of God. His work is in no way judgemental, as he rejects the role of the judge; it is merely a recognition of diversity in all its forms and colours. His work is about understanding, acceptance, and tolerance and foremost, it is about the acknowledgement of seen and unseen realities.
Saddek is not a sculptor in any traditional sense, as he has had no formal training, does not work with clay or with moulds, his work is not produced in a foundry and does not come in editions. He works with his hands, and by himself. His primary material is metal, in various shapes and forms. He equates metal, with strength, and his patience and ability to break down its intransigence and to manipulate it to his will, is what gives him his sense of empowerment and achievement.
Wasil received his formal education in Environmental Studies and Agricultural Sciences from King Abdulaziz University. He is a member of a number of arts societies. Namely, the Contemporary Artist’s Home, The Association of Culture and the Arts and the Saudi Society of Fine Arts. He currently holds the position of Director of the Arts and Culture Department in Mecca.
He has exhibited extensively nationally and has participated in a number of international events and art fairs; Edge of Arabia, Istanbul (2010); OFID, Vienna (2011), Shanghai Expo at the Duolon Museum of Modern Art (2010); Art Dubai (2009, 2010, 2011); MENASA Art Fair, Beirut (2011); Marrakech Art Fair (2011) and the International Art Biennale in Dakar, Senegal ( 2008, 2009). In 2012, he launched is first solo exhibition at Athr Gallery ‘And They Will Not Cease to Differ…’ and participated in ‘Made in Makkah’, a group show of artists from Mecca at Artspace London. He has been selected for Dar Al- Ma’mun’s 2013 residency in Morocco.
The exhibition sponsor, William Wagner Geneva is delighted to be associated with ARTSPACE gallery for the next 12 months as a sponsor to highlight the beautiful hard work and art expressed by young Middle Eastern artists. The performance of artists across our history either through paintings, drawings, music, poetry, literatures, photography, sculptures and many more means transcend people mind and boundaries to build comfort, free interpretation for each and every one as well as trust in art and the artists.