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RIYADH: To celebrate International Women’s Day 2022, the British Embassy in Riyadh, in collaboration with Lakum Artspace, organized an exhibition featuring the works of 20 Saudi women artists from Riyadh, Jeddah, Alkhobar, Jazan and Abha.

Lakum Artspace, a local Saudi contemporary art center, organized the exhibition, which is part of the British Embassy’s project to mark International Women’s Day and support aspiring Saudi artists at the start of their careers.

The exhibition will end on March 10 and will be open to the public from Tuesday.

Along with showcasing their work, the artists will spend three days developing their communication and portfolio building skills to build their future careers and public profiles, Dana Z Qabbani, managing director of Lakum Artspace, told Arab News.

Anna Walters, British Deputy Ambassador speaking to an artist. (British Embassy)

The works are themed “Impressions from the UK” and are exhibited at Lakum Artspace in Riyadh.

Opening the exhibition with a VIP preview on Monday evening, British Deputy Ambassador Anna Walters said: “International Women’s Day on March 8 is a time for us to celebrate the achievements of women in Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia and around the world. We know that many women study art, but few have the opportunity to exhibit.

“Together with Lakum Artspace, we are thrilled to offer these very talented women from different corners of Saudi Arabia a platform to exhibit, raise the profile of their work and further develop their skills as female artists. Supporting women’s empowerment and leadership, encouraging inclusion and growing creative industries are all shared priorities for the UK and Saudi Vision 2030,” she added.

British Deputy Ambassador Anna Walters addressing the artists. (A photo by Rashid Hassan)

Speaking at the event, Neama Al-Sudairy, Founding Director of Lakum Artspace, said, “Lakum Artspace was created to foster collaborations and give young Saudi women, especially artists, the confidence to present their work even at an early stage. We hear their voices, we support established artists and young artists, and we help make their voices heard in the community. We hope that this collaboration will be the first of many others.

“Lakum Artspace is proud to partner with the British Embassy in Saudi Arabia to support women on International Women’s Day.”

Asma Alibrahim, one of the artists participating in the exhibition, said, “I found myself very attracted to art exhibitions and galleries, so I decided to participate in this exhibition.”

Mariam Al-Jumaa, another artist, said: “Ever since I was little, I was a big fan of Queen Elizabeth. She is an exceptional personality and she is the symbol of the United Kingdom in my eyes. My work about the Queen is inspired by her style, her colors and the British flag.

British Deputy Ambassador Anna Walters speaking to the artists at the exhibition. (A photo by Rashid Hassan)

International Women’s Day grew out of the labor movement to become an annual event recognized by the UN and has become a date to celebrate how far women have come in society, politics and the economy.

The seeds were sown in 1908, when 15,000 women marched in New York demanding shorter working hours, better pay and the right to vote.

International Women’s Day was first celebrated in 1911 in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland.

Things were formalized in 1975 when the UN started celebrating this day.

Every year on March 8, International Women’s Day is celebrated to commemorate the cultural, political and socio-economic achievements of women.

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