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JEDDAH: An art exhibition titled “Find Me Through the Fog” shines a light on the wildfire crises in Abha in 2020 through the work of eight local artists.

The exhibition, which opened on March 19 and will run until April 9, is taking place in the historical village of Al-Muftaha in Abha.

It presents different aspects of the forest ecosystem and the consequences of fires.

Hatem Al-Ahmad, a multidisciplinary artist participating in the exhibition, told Arab News: “The driving force behind the work and the project, in general, is, for me at least, how to adopt a positive position with nature. that surrounds us, especially the forests.

“I had the important question, as an artist: can I be a person who thinks after the event? In my work, I don’t care what happened in the past, I care about how we act in the present and our responsibility to that environment.

The fires destroyed an area of ​​more than 4.7 million square meters before being brought under control by the Saudi Civil Defense. Tens of thousands of perennial trees – including wild olive trees, neems, junipers and acacias, some of which were over 50 years old – were destroyed.

Through his work presented in the exhibition, Al-Ahmad said: “I tried to invent, or take an external practice related to agricultural engineering or garden practices, and insert them as an element to help trees recover faster.

“I worked with a two part compound, one called copper sulphate and the other calcium hydroxide compound; when combined with each other, it gives us something to help trees recover from cracks, fires and damage, and help speed up the healing process,” he said.

“I felt that I had to be positive with our environment and help with its recovery. ”

The exhibition is part of the Visual Arts Commission’s efforts to provide local artists with the platform to shed light on the environmental challenges surrounding the forests ecosystem, with the aim of raising awareness of the impacts resulting from fires, and l importance of conservation efforts to preserve the region’s forests.

“When you go to the scene of a fire or watch these fires, you can feel the pain that an important part of the environment, the forests, is missing or in part. I felt it was our responsibility as artists to focus on the concept of the accident and what happened to the forests, but from different points of view,” Al-Ahmad said.

“My perspective was if, as an artist, I could provide two types of service, community service that helps educate the volunteers who were part of the recovery project, and the second part was, as a “artist, I have the ability to show solidarity and compassion with my surroundings. And I was able to realize both concepts throughout this project,” he added.

The exhibition also features the work of artists Mohammed Al-Faraj, Alaa Tarbzouni, Fahad bin Nayef, Ayman Zedani, Saeed Gabaan, Aziz Jamal and Reem Al-Nasser. It includes a digital children’s catalog designed by local artist Sara Abdu.

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