Leading Saudi Arabian female artist, Manal Al Dowayan, has accomplished what other artists of the region would only dream of, with the British Museum and Los Angeles County Museum of Modern Art recently buying her work as part of their permanent collections.
Her photographs and installations reflect powerful themes and carry thought-provoking messages – with a focus on issues relevant to women of Saudi Arabia.
One of her prominent installations, Esmi – my name, which was displayed in the Alāan Artspace Soft Power exhibition, addressed the attitudes towards women’s names in the kingdom and society finding it offensive to bring attention to their identities.
“With no traditional nor a religious basis for this phenomena I took my artwork to the society that encourages the hiding of a woman’s name, and asked them to make a group statement on the subject,” says Al Dowayan on her website.
This work was displayed as a collection of wooden spheres hanging from the ceiling like prayer beads, each bead mentioning the name of a woman as if to say, loudly, that we are here!
Exhibiting regionally and internationally, Al Dowayan gains popularity for her distinguished artwork and heartwarming smile wherever she goes. She participates in many talks and panel discussions and has appeared in many publications.
For more info – www.manaldowayan.com