From June 15, 2023 to August 03, 2023

Galerie Tanit, Mar Mikhael, Beirut, Lebanon

Talib Almarri, Reflection, 2021, Digital Photograph, 30 cm x 40 cm, Edition of 7 + 2 AP

Talib Almarri invites us to the dreamy lake of al-Asfar where ‘water, birds, and weeds are in harmony’.

Talib Almarri began taking photographs in 2016, populating his Instagram account with images of wildlife and natural scenery which he came across near his home in Khobar, Saudi Arabia and while travelling in Europe, the Gulf and especially in Kenya, Tanzania, and Botswana. In recent years his photography has focused on one location, Buhairat al-Asfar (the lake of al-Asfar) in the governorate of al-Hasa within the Eastern Province known al-Sharqiya, the region that encompasses the full length of the eastern coast of Saudi Arabia.

Returning to this place again and again, Almarri is mesmerised by the landscapes where there are hills of soft sand directly overlooking a lake, and plants and vegetation surrounding the lake. Despite the brilliance of the colours around him he mostly chooses to produce his evocative images in black and white, as he finds that black and white successfully imparts the feeling of photography in the work. The lake is a national park, recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage site, and one of the most important wetland shallow lakes in the region. It is a place of great environmental diversity, attracting thousands of migratory birds every year with species such as the white heron found in greater numbers there than anywhere else in Saudi Arabia.

‘The lake is in harmony with the water, birds, and weeds, and I only hear the sound of birds and the air when it stirs the grass and the water. I do not allow anything to disturb the peace of the place and the mind. Every time I visit the lake, I find myself attached to this place as if I belong to it. I find a passion within myself for discovering more of it and am always searching for new, unconventional, and purely artistic angles and ideas to express it.’ (Talib Almarri)


– Venetia Porter
written for the 9th edition of 21,39 Jeddah Arts “Amakin”, curated by Venetia Porter, 2022

Talib Almarri portrait

Talib Almarri

Talib Almarri was born in Khobar in 1979, where he is currently based. He is a self-taught photographer whose work has been in international competitions including The Big Picture (2020), Nature’s Best Awards, Sienna Competition and the iPhone Photography Awards (all 2021). He recently won 1st prize at XPOSURE, UAE (2022). The artist’s work was featured in Amakin; the 9th edition of 21,39 Jeddah Arts curated by Venetia Porter (2022).

Almarri got into photography in 2016, and what started as a mere hobby quickly grew to become a passion and a philosophy. There are no boundaries to the artist’s creativity, as he always seeks to develop his artistic outlook and visual culture. According to Talib, “tomorrow’s work should be better than today’s”.
Almarri uses every element in the environment to serve and enhance the subject of the image. He frames the pictures as he pleases both visually and emotionally, before actually capturing them through his camera.


Talib Almarri