Jordanian sculptor and artist Mona Saudi dies aged 76

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DUBAI: Renowned Jordanian sculptor and artist Mona Saudi has died at the age of 76.

Born in 1945, Saudi devoted her life to creating modernist stone sculptures and drawings that were showcased around the world.

Her death was mourned on Wednesday by William Shabib of the Lawrie Shabib gallery. “Very sad that Mona Saudi, the great Jordanian sculptor, left us tonight,” Shabib said on Instagram.

It was confirmed by Saudi’s only Instagram account through a post by her daughter, Dia on Thursday that said: “With the heaviest heart, I share that my beautiful mama, sweetest grandmother and extraordinary artist, Mona Saudi, has left us last night in her beloved city Beirut. Words fail me beyond this.”

Many people took to social media to share their grievances following the tragic news of her passing.

Lawrie Shabib wrote: “With great sadness, we remember Mona Saudi. An irrepressible personality, a great artist, sculpting in stone for over 60 years, Mona was a force of nature. She passed away peacefully last night in her beloved Beirut. What a privilege to have known and worked with her — we will always remember her. Shine bright, Mona Saudi.”

Saudi had dedicated her life to art. She fled her home in Amman, Jordan, to travel to Lebanon as a teenager to join Beirut’s growing art scene. Her first-ever work was showcased in the Lebanese capital and allowed her to raise funds to attend the prestigious Beaux-Arts de Paris, where she graduated in 1973.

In the decades after, Saudi became a well-known stone sculptor around the world, showcasing her work in some of the most famous galleries and museums, such as the British Museum, the Sharjah Art Foundation and more.

A lot of her poetry-infused drawings were inspired by her close friend, the late great poet Mahmoud Darwish.

Saudi once told  of her close friend: “When I hear him reciting his poetry in his own voice, I cannot control my tears. He remains alive in our memories and hearts.” The same can be said of Saudi, whose impact will certainly live on forever.

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