Get to know Abdulmalik Marwan Ghazzawi, a Saudi architect and carpenter.

Get to know Abdulmalik Marwan Ghazzawi, a Saudi architect and carpenter.  He gives us an insight into stepping out of the two dimensional realm of interaction and engagement. Abdulmalik is also the founder of WoodFosterKSA, it bears the concept of rehabilitating unwanted wood through design principles & references from around the world.

Let’s get started!

Tell us about yourself?

I am a modern art and art history enthusiast. I am a full-time architect and a carpenter on whatever time remains. I like sarcasm.

I have always been interested in sketching and copying artworks. I recently discovered that putting ideas on paper, in general, has been a second nature to me, as I think am not a very verbal person. I believe I developed a relationship with sketching pens over the years and that relationship opened doors for me in the ever expanding artistic and design world. I believe every human has a weight on the world, and I try as much as I can to lighten my weight on our world, which explains my enthusiasm for minimalism as a whole. Attention to Detail.

What influenced you to start being creative / making art?

I believe it might be a Lack of verbal expressiveness and I usually over-think and read too much into things, so I have always admired symbolism and hidden meanings, thus my interest.

What message do you want to give through your artwork?

That beauty can be found in everything if given the time.

What themes do you often explore in your artwork and why?

Recently I have been exploring sculpting, as it has a three-dimensional relation to its viewer.

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What inspired this piece/idea that you submitted to us?

The piece is a physical manifestation of the Self in a timeline from when life memory begins until the current time. Linear thoughts and beliefs set as the foundation on which the piece proudly stands on. As time passes with exposure and growth, the unscratched linearity transforms into beginnings leading to possibilities. The straight branch cuts were altered to symbolize continuity through space and time. The material chosen reflects the non-uniformity in life as it is as I believe is the natural state. Coincidently the top part gives a silhouette of a thriving bird spreading its wings in preparation for a lengthy flight.

This piece is chosen from among a pile of what used to be a tree that covered the lights of a 9 Meter high street light.

You have recently been interested in sculpting, what materials are you using and why? How did you get introduced to it? 

I have always found sculpting interesting, as sculpting to me is Art’s first step out of the two-dimensional realm of interaction and engagement. In a way, to me, it is the foundation of what art is today for it involved tackling of all the remaining senses.

Since I am an amateur woodworker, I have found wood easier to deal with. A solid material that can be manipulated. You would get the results of your decisions in an instant, rather than waiting for a clay model to harden or set for example.

I got introduced to wood work in my university, whenever i had free time i would pay the woodshop a visit and work with whatever scrap material i find. (Thinking with my hands).

So you don’t just do sculptures but also oil paintings, how long have you been painting and what type of paintings do you usually do? 

My submission to Reconnecting arts was to first work, so I started sculpting when I was given a theme with an open call. As for painting, I started over a year, even though I ended up having three. I am interested in paintings that would convey stories, but stories of the self and whatever is going on through the painter’s head or feelings. I have thought of a few paintings but never really executed any of them.

St. Mathew

What is your favorite artwork that you have created in the past and why?

Always been proud of my copy of Caravaggio’s Calling of St. Mathew, as it was my third oil painting ever.

What is your most important artist tool? Is there something you can’t live without in your studio?

My favourite sketching pen.

What are your thoughts on being an artist in today’s world?

It is marvelous to be an artist nowadays, as technology has allowed for an endless variety of artworks, and as a result, it redefined art. I believe a contemporary artist has all the freedom an artist can ask for.

What is the art scene like in Saudi Arabia? Any places you recommend to visit to view or experience creativity?

The art scene has always been there in Saudi. Arts were almost always abstract, that is why you would find a lot of Islamic patterns, calligraphy works and abstract art such as cubism in Saudi art history. It’s an interesting way to live with the restrictions that have been put on arts as it was believed that no God’s creation should be replicated even as photographs.

Recently Saudi artists are given the freedom to express themselves with much fewer restrictions. so manlike sculptures, portraits and even live performances can be found in Saudi galleries and spaces. To me, it’s like Saudi artists gave a big exhale after holding their breaths for too long, hence the art boom Saudi is experiencing now and the start of the Saudi Art Council is a proof of that.

There are a number of places to visit, here is a few in random order:

1- Athr Art gallery

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2- Hafez Gallery

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3- Jeddah’s Mural (located historical area of Jeddah called Al-Balad)

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4- Saudi Art Council’s Gold Moor gallery

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5- Tasami Creative Lab (place to exhibit and hold workshops in)

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What’s the best advice you ever had about how to be more creative or what advice would you give to someone?

Advice I would never forget;

“Get all your bad ideas out of your head by executing them, so you would have space for good ideas”


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Celebrating Emerging Middle Eastern Creatives