Zahrah Al-Ghamdi’s (b. 1977, Al Bahah, KSA) work explores memory and history through traditional architecture in both medium and assemblage. Her site-specific work sees the laborious and meticulous process in which she assembles particles of Earth, clay, rocks, leather, and water. Both medium and her process of making draw on the notion of ‘embodied memory’ to translate and delineate themes of cultural identity, memory and loss. Al-Ghamdi grew up in the Southwestern region of Saudi Arabia. She then moved to Jeddah where she completed her undergraduate’s degree in Islamic Arts from King Abdulaziz University. She holds a Master’s Degree in Contemporary Craft from Coventry University in England, where she also obtained her P.H.D in Design and Visual Art. Her thesis analyses traditional domestic architecture from South Western Saudi Arabia in contemporary settings. Indeed, growing up in that region, surrounded by traditional Aseeri architecture, has played an integral role in her practice. She is a faculty member of the Islamic Arts Department at King Abdulaziz University.
Al Ghamdi’s most recent solo show, Streams Move Oceans, took place at Athr Gallery, Jeddah (2019). Some of the group exhibitions she participated in, include: Safar, 21,39 Jeddah Arts, (2017), Letters, Athr Gallery, Jeddah (2017); Earth and Ever After, 21,39 Jeddah Arts (2016), Tasami Gallery, Jeddah (2015), Meter Room Gallery, Coventry, UK , Herbert Gallery, Coventry (2010) and New Designer Gallery, London (2009).
Al-Ghamdi’s large-scale, site specific installations include After Illusion ar Venice Biennale (2019), Second Hand at Art Jameel Centre, Dubai (2019), The British Museum as part of the Shubbak Festival of Arab Culture (2017) and Alserkal Avenue, Dubai (2016). She has participated in numerous symposiums, including: Art in a cold climate: A Turning Point, West Midlands in partnership with Birmingham City University and the University of Warwick (2011), Research Symposium in Coventry University, (2010) and Cutting-Edge Symposium: Lasers and Creativity, Loughborough University School of Art and Design (2010).