Land of Dreams
67 x 100 cm
Photograph of an installation
Land of Dreams was an installation in the Saudi Arabian desert close to Jeddah in January 2017. The larger than life images of celebrity Emirati singer, Ahlam Alshamsi, is my perception of the dimensionalities of the internet and its virtual realms; a place where information is distributed and fostered, and where many popular celebrities, including Ahlam, reside.
I wanted the viewer to come with their own notion and interpretation of their land of dreams—and then be subjected to Ahlam scattered across an empty plot of land ("Ahlam" means "dream" in Arabic).
I chose Ahlam because she is one of many central pop figures in Arab culture; she comes with her own connotations and meanings, all obtained through her career as an Arab pop singer. The provocative images challenge commonly held stereotypes that all Middle Eastern women are veiled, quiet and submissive.
In the current climate of immigration, inequality and hope for a better future, the work asks "what is your land of dreams?"
Born in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia in 1991, Ahaad’s love for art was evident from a young age; with her mother being an artist and an art teacher, Ahaad was always surrounded by artworks and art materials. She moved to England and that broadened her view and appreciation for art and the world. She loves how people express themselves through different media and are able to affect people’s mindsets and lives. This is what motivated her to continue pursuing art when she returned to Saudi Arabia. Ahaad obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design at Dar Al-Hekma University and is currently finishing her Masters in Print at the Royal College of Art in London. She has exhibited in both solo and group shows in the Middle East, Europe and in the USA.