February 20, 2024


DHAHRAN: If a photograph can inform a narrative of a thousand phrases, Peter Sanders’ newest exhibition on the King Abdulaziz Middle for World Tradition, Ithra, can present us one million.


Aptly titled “Trying to find Mild,” a significant retrospective opened on Saturday in Dhahran, consisting of about 100 pictures taken by Sanders.


He went from taking pictures portraits of music icons of the Sixties akin to Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan and The Rolling Stones to mindfully capturing photos of Islam and his personal journey of enlightenment when he transformed within the Nineteen Seventies.


“The exhibition affords a deeply empathetic imaginative and prescient of the standard world of Islam and an intimate view into one man’s stressed seek for gentle by means of numerous locations, races and traditions,” the middle mentioned in a press release.


On opening evening, whereas digital camera shutters have been fluttering round him, Sanders stood calmly with no digital camera of his personal in hand.


Sanders mentioned: “The exhibition is admittedly concerning the journey all of us are taking, not simply my journey. From childhood to youth, maturity maturity and outdated age, this can be a journey all people is on. And it’s a tremendous journey. As you become old, you’re taking a chicken’s eye view. While you’re youthful, you’re simply busy residing your life. However then as you become old, you begin to see how all of us are linked collectively.”


He went from taking photographs of a number of the most well-known faces, to these in distant villages, and when the world grew a bit dim, in his view, he went to journey searching for the sunshine.


After cautious research, Sanders embraced Islam and got down to doc the faces, locations and areas he got here throughout. Over 55 years and over 40 international locations, guests to Ithra have the possibility to see the physique of labor he’s most happy with on the partitions of Gallery 3.


In 1972, his life remodeled when he was capable of seize a picture in Makkah of the Haram. To him, pilgrims, largely draped in white cloths, appeared like a pearl necklace cradled round the home of God.


His type is distinct, clear and intimate.


Though not keen on heights, a lot of Sanders’ photos have been taken from above. His photos have been additionally included in Ithra’s first ever touring exhibition in 2022 and within the accompanying 2023 ebook, each known as “Hijrah,” which documented the 400 km between the 2 holy cities which the Prophet Muhammad launched into.


Sanders traveled together with Dr. Abdullah Hussein Alkadi, professor of city and regional planning at Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal College, who is taken into account an professional for his groundbreaking analysis on the journey routes that the Prophet Muhammad and his companions took, and each males, together with some others, tried to piece collectively that sacred journey although imagery and textual content.


The curator of the Hijrah choices at Ithra, Dr. Idries Trevathan, mentioned: “By the ability of Sanders’ work, we stay in a greater, extra tolerant world. I feel now, in these instances of tribulation, his work is extra essential than ever.”


Talking concerning the visible oversaturation in at this time’s world, he added: “Every single day we see hundreds of primitive photos; on-line in social media, on billboards, on TV and we take hundreds of images day by day and we supply them round in our pockets … we possibly look at them a few times and finally they get misplaced after which they disappear into the ether, in any other case generally known as the cloud; by no means to be seen once more.”


However Sanders’ photos have been “actual,” Trevathan continued, and never digitally generated by synthetic intelligence. “We’re going to see actual individuals, actual locations. The images proven on this exhibition, they are going to by no means develop outdated, and they’ll outlive all of us.”


Guests got here from close to and much to assist the exhibition.


“I got here from Jeddah only for this, as a result of Peter Sanders is understood to have superb photographs and each picture speaks for itself. Each picture has a narrative and the approach,” customer Naila Althagafi instructed Arab Information on opening evening.


Althagafi has been a photographer for fairly a while, first as a interest throughout the Kingdom then within the US when she enrolled as a movie faculty pupil and earned a communications doctorate.


“I like tales. And that’s why each picture, it may possibly inform quite a bit from one story. And so I do know Sidi Peter — I met him a few years in the past and I’ve recognized of his work. He’s a instructor, whether or not it was from the technical a part of pictures and even the tales that displays the Muslim neighborhood and even the Muslim identification as properly. He’s a strolling treasure,” she mentioned.


Unfold throughout 5 zones, the exhibition kinds a journey throughout the Muslim world, from the sacred cities of Makkah, Madinah and Jerusalem to the distant deserts — showcasing pictures of the individuals and locations formed by Islam, captured by means of the lens of Peter Sanders.


The present runs till June 16 and tickets begin at SR35 ($9) and may be bought by means of ithra.com.