For the First Time in a Long Time is the first monograph on the work of Sarah Abu Abdallah and comprises works from 2012 to 2019. As a visual diary, the publication guides the reader through Abu Abdallah's artworks as a blend of artist book and exhibition catalogue. Working across video, painting, text and installation Abu Abdallah’s work is a meditation on our media saturated present, and the tension between our virtual personas and real lived experiences. Influenced by the online flows of data and images as well as pop culture in the Gulf, her work is an intimate reflection on the anxieties of a hyperconnected present.
Sarah Abu Abdallah's (born 1990 in Qatif, KSA, where she lives and works) work challenges the impossible by piecing together improbable elements and connections as a gesture of hope and outlet for new narratives through video, installation, poetry, images and conversations. Initially trained as a painter, Sarah Abu Abdallah was later attracted to the documentary capacities of the camera, as well as the possibilities inherent in video and performance, leading her to create multimedia works. Through references to gender roles and the female experience, Abu Abdullah's explores issues of obscurity and value, probing the social and cultural conditions of contemporary Saudi Arabia.