Zahrah Al Ghamdi

Mycelium Running

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Zahrah Al Ghamdi, Mycelium Running, 2019, Natural leather, Dimension variable. Art Jameel Collection. Photo courtesy of the artist and Athr Gallery.

Artwork Details


Zahrah Al Ghamdi


Mycelium Running




Natural leather



Credit Line

Art Jameel Collection

Work Description

Zahrah Al Ghamdi moulded and formed thousands of leather objects, grouping them together along the wall and wall. Al Ghamdi’s laborious and meticulous process involves cutting, sewing, stuffing, moulding, shredding, boiling, drying and burning leather into hardened pieces. The presence of the hand in the materiality of Al Ghamdi’s installation is influential, as the pieces themselves are guided by the natural process of both the hand and the leather.

The leather objects when assembled present a mass of organic material, whose process of shaping is as indistinct and complex as its overall form. At first, it is unclear whether these forms are alive or not, of animal or organic substance or simply unidentifiable. Their positioning allows them to take on a life of their own, multiplying in parts and adapting to the environment they have been allowed to settle in. 


Artist Biography

Zahrah Al Ghamdi (b.1977, Al Bahah) lives and works in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Through explorations of traditional architecture, history and memory through medium and assemblage, Zahrah Al-Ghamdi’s site-specific work explores the meticulous and laborious process of assembling Earth, rocks, leather, clay and water. Having grown up in the Southwestern region of Saudi Arabia, her work draws on the notion on ‘embodied memories’ to delineate and translate cultural identity, memory and loss. She is a faculty member of the Islamic Arts Department at King Abdulaziz University in Jeddah. Zahrah most recently represented Saudi Arabia at the 58th Venice Biennale (2019). Her works have also been exhibited at Athr Gallery, Jeddah (2019); 21,39 Jeddah Arts (2017 & 2016); Tasami Gallery, Jeddah (2015); Meter Room Gallery, Coventry (2011); Herbery Gallery, Coventry (2010) and New Designer Gallery, London (2009). Her large-scale, site specific installations include The British Museum as part of the Shubbak Festival of Arab Culture (2017) and Alserkal Avenue, Dubai (2016).