Balqis Alrashed is something like a creative phenomenon. Riyadh-born, but now residing in Beirut, Lebanon, she is a visual artist and clothing designer. Famous for her photography series, #AStateofPlay, Balqis portrays a niqab clad woman, spinning and twirling with a fluorescent hula hoop. Her photography project aims to compel and intrigue its audience as she explores “the practice of play and physical constraint of the veil”, pushing her audience to be “shocked and enchanted” at the same time, generating discussion among viewers.
Balqis first made her foray onto the art scene in 2010 when she co-founded Qabila Apparel, which is a Saudi based clothing line. The brand, specializes in the production and retail of high quality casual wear and accessories based on concepts sourced from local Middle Eastern artists and graphic designers. Qabila is dedicated to creating wearable art that is made “for us, by us” by tapping local design energy and embracing their frustration, happiness, angst and humor of Saudi culture.
Following the launch of her clothing line, she exhibited an art installation in 2015, titled, “Once, we fell from the sky and landed in Babel”, at the Sharjah Art Foundation in the UAE.
In 2017, she was proclaimed the first international artist in residence at the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art and was also was also picked by Nike to be one of five Saudi women featured in its “Believe in More” campaign.
As well as being an extremely talented creative, she hula hoops like a pro.