Client: US GOV/ ART IN EMBASSIES
Location: Dhahran , Saudi Arabia
Completion date: 2021
Artwork budget: $208,000
Sebastien Courty LLC
Art in Embassies
“SAUDI UNITY” – US EMBASSY IN DHAHRAN, SAUDI ARABIA
A composition of thirteen vertical handwoven Totems representing the thirteen regions of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. 1×9 ft / 30.5 x 274.5 cm each
Honouring the host country “Saudi Arabia” as we inaugurate the new US embassy, this series of hand woven Totems embodies the materials and the elements that are most significant and exported by the kingdom. An opportunity to draft a singular identity through natural resources, commercial success and international activities. Embellishing the perceptive and delicate architectural lines of the building, these contemporary textiles reach a new dimension, where design meets art in a protective reflection.
The collection of “Totem, a wall’s jewelry” takes inspirations from the culture, natural resources, and commercial activities of a specific country, city or region. Combining rare, precious, and unexpected components such as silver thread, rubber, and copper wire, the final textile panel becomes a window into a community, an invitation to travel and discover parts of the world one has yet to explore and open to conversation. For this specific commission the "goal" was to highlight the domestic and international links between the USA and Saudi Arabia. Creating a deeper understanding of the thirteen regions of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia by using the country's cultural, commercial and economical assets as main inspirations. The artworks become a learning tool, a path to knowledge and an opportunity to draft a link between culture and economy. This series of handwoven panels opens to conversation and enlighten one's vision.
The guidelines and requirements for this project were clear and easily achievable throughout the creation process. Based on the collection of handwoven panels : "Totem - a Wall's Jewelry" the client requested a series of 2D vertical artworks honouring the kingdom of Saudi Arabia for their new US embassy in the city of Dhahran. Each weaving, framed in a an elegant wooden box is made in the USA with a composition of 24K gold thread, silver and aluminium thread, acrylic yarn, coated metallic yarn, crystal beads to name a few.
The studio then gathered informations and inspirations for each Totem and came up with mood boards, references and digital stagings. Once the client confirmed the size, colour, overall concept and digital visuals of the commission, the production process began.
Textile has long been an essential component of the human experience since the beginning of civilization. Fascinated by the diversity of craftsmanship and versatility textiles offer, my work is in principle a decorative art approach. The play of texture, material, and color permits me to reinvent my craft through traditional and ancient techniques, such as hand-weaving. I speak in color and share my love of texture by creating artworks that reflect the lights. I aspires to move the viewers by creating an emotion and a feeling through my designs. Textiles transcend dimensions where "Design" encounters "Art" in a prospective muse. Not limited to fibers, my work encompasses any materials that allow hand weaving methods inter alia to invent contemporary textile art. Using recycled elements and sourcing supplies from fair trades, any artwork is a thoughtful approach to the question of sustainability. I am driven by the creation of works that redefine our notions of unity, concept, representation and personal expression. My vision of "Textile Art" moves fabric-based works beyond the category of woven tapestry into a more conceptual practice that embraces strategies otherwise found in painting, sculpture and architecture. I work with a clear consciousness of environmental challenges.