Saudi Wood Sculptor Crafts Tributes to Nature, Wildlife, and Ancient History
Renowned Saudi sculptor Sultan Al-Mrshood, currently exhibiting at the Saudi Feast Food Festival, is celebrated for his lifelike wooden sculptures of nature and wildlife, shaped by his farm upbringing.
At the festival's Olive Exhibition, his work, including an eagle sculpture, a snake-entwined cane, and artisanal rosaries made from coconut, olive, and date pits, captivates onlookers.
Al-Mrshood's intricately carved snake canes, emblematic of Moses' staff and key to his fame, demand three months of meticulous work each; he recently sold one for SR30,000 ($8,000). His fame includes a prestigious sale of one such cane to Prince Sultan bin Salman, who then gifted it to Bahrain's foreign minister.
With prior accolades like a third-place finish at the Souq Okaz competition, Al-Mrshood's cultural impact is significant. His work, particularly the rare snake canes, draws widespread admiration for their uniqueness in Saudi Arabia's sparse sculpting landscape.
Drawing on childhood memories from a farm in Buraidah and a transition from painting to sculpting, Al-Mrshood now imparts his skills to budding Saudi artists as an instructor at the Ministry of Culture.
Despite challenges like the scarcity of manual machines to enhance his craft, Al-Mrshood values the scarcity of wood sculptors in Saudi Arabia for maintaining the exclusivity and high value of their art.