In 2003, Steven Stappleton, a British artist, joined forces with Saudi Arabian artists Ahmed Mater and Abdulnasser Gharem to create Edge of Arabia, a multi-faceted platform for presenting contemporary Arab art to Europe, America, the Middle East and Asia. Having begun in the Al-Miftaha Arts Village in Abha, Saudia Arabia, this grassroots initiative quickly spread to become a powerful voice in the international art world.
Edge of Arabia’s inaugural exhibition was hosted in 2008 at the SOAS Brunei Gallery in London. In 2010, the group began a world tour, starting in Berlin at the Vinyl Factory Gallery during the 6th Berlin Biennale. This marked Germany’s first exhibition of contemporary Saudi Arabian art. They showed an increasing international presence with further exhibitions in Istanbul, as part of the European Capital of Culture, and at the U.A.E.’s 2011 Art Dubai and Sharjah Biennale.