TIAMSA Member News: Conference: Imagining Art Futures: Collection and Exhibition Strategies in the Gulf Region. Loughborough University (UK) and online, 4-5 May 2023

This two-day symposium examines recent developments in the art landscape of the Gulf countries. Speakers will test ideas and terminologies used to analyse art production, collection, and exhibition in the region. We welcome discussion about the ways in which artists, curators, art professionals, and policy makers from Gulf countries are creating new audiences, developing institutional networks, and opening local art production and collecting onto international platforms. This includes exploration of the role played by museums and art markets in the dissemination of knowledge about artists and cultural heritage. What art futures are being imagined in and by the Gulf countries and what are the proposed mechanisms for their realization?

Please register at the following link:


All times are British Summer Time

Day 1: Thursday 4 May

09.30–10.00 In-Person Arrivals – Coffee/Tea

10.00–10.20 Kathryn Brown (Loughborough University): Introduction: Gulf Countries in a Networked Artworld

10.20–11.30 Session 1 

Eiman Elgibreen (Princess Nourah Bint Abdul Rahman University): Following the Guiding Light: Lessons Learned from Noor Riyadh and Other Large-Scale Art Events in Saudi Arabia

Ghadeer Ghazi Abualshamat (Loughborough University): Making the Contemporary in Saudi Arabian Museum Culture.

11.30–11.45 Break

11.45–13.00 Session 2

Rawya Aljared (University of Jeddah): Green Land, Empty Land; Contemporary Art from Saudi Arabia

Dareen Alorflly (University of York): Manal Al-Dowayan: Saudi Arabia’s Conceptual Pioneer in Memory and Identity

13.00–14.00 Lunch

14.00–15.15 Session 3 

Hind Alhumaihdi (Loughborough University): The Future of Animation: Exhibit to Intangible Heritage

Leena Sonbul (University of North Texas): Place Identity: The Complex Intersection Between Inside and Outside in Art and Culture Scenes in Saudi Arabia

15.15–15.30 Break

15.30–16.30 Keynote – IAS Visiting Fellow Nada Shabout (University of North Texas): Gulf “Creates”: How the Gulf Countries are Changing the Narrative of Global Contemporary Art.

Day 2: Friday 5 May

09.30–10.00 In-Person Arrivals – Coffee/Tea

10.00–11.15 Session 4 –

Georgina Walker (University of Melbourne): Private Foundations, Art and Intercultural Dialogue in the United Arab Emirates

Sarina Wakefield (University of Leicester): In Transit: Connecting Arts & Heritage in Gulf Airports

11.15–11.30 Break

11.15–12.30 Session 5 

Océane Sailly (Hunna Art/Sorbonne University, Paris): Becoming an Artist in the Gulf Countries

Leili Sreberny-Mohammadi (London School of Economics and Political Science): The Art Fair and the Auction House: Dubai in a Global Artworld


Session 6 –

Art Futures? Roundtable: All parties with Sultan Sod Al Qassemi (Berjeel Art Foundation).

13.15–14.30 Lunch & Close

This event is kindly sponsored by the Barjeel Art Foundation and Loughborough University’s Institute of Advanced Study