Born and raised in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Raghad Al Ahmad creates collages that are placeless, that disregard time and order. Mermaids live amongst fish-riding children in the galaxy, faceless men and women shoot bow-and-arrows and read books atop magnified tree leaves. Over the past five years, the dual interior designer and artist has garnered a cult following for her whimsical and fairytale-like collages. More recently, she’s begun hosting ‘experience’ nights, where other Jeddah-dwellers can immerse themselves in small-scale, collage-making events.
If your work made digitally or by hand?
I started working digitally five years ago and now I feel like I love working with paper – the manual part – collecting old magazines, cutting them. But it’s really up to me and my mood. Both have benefits and unique parts to them. Digital is fast, you can alter the pictures you work with in different ways, change colors and play around with them, the copyright is easier. But the manual collage-making side has its surprise element. You never know what you’re going to create until you finish the whole image.
In your collages, there are a lot of women and galaxy imagery. What are some of the themes you see across your work and why are they there?
What I create depends on the people I see and things I get inspired by. I can see a person and imagine them as a sunflower for example – I have this very visual side of me. I can see people as colors, too. What I make doesn’t have to be a specific thing or theme, it’s what I like. I love what i do. You know when you do something over and over and its become part of your blood and body and you walk with it. Collage is like an extension of myself.