Noura Bint Saidan
Earlier this year, a group of female and male graffiti artists from across Saudi Arabia headed to Khobar in the eastern part of the country, to transform its traditional houses into a giant canvas. As the Kingdom continues to move towards a less restrictive society, initiatives such as the beautification of Khobar’s neighborhoods through the use of graffiti are encouraging more women to take up this very public form of artistic expression, such as graffiti artist Noura Bint Saidan.
Graffiti in Khobar
A young woman whose approach to street art revolves around reflecting on Saudi Arabian culture, Bint Saidan joins a small but growing number of female graffiti artists in Saudi Arabia such as Sarah Mohanna Al Abdali, said to be the Kingdom’s first female street artist. Speaking recently to Destination KSA, Bint Saidan explained that her journey towards become a graffiti artist began early on in life, in high school, when she first attempted to paint on a huge canvas using oil paints.
“I found my soul in this and I decided to be specialized in art and that’s why I continued with this journey. After completing masters in arts from KSU, I worked in branding and marketing as well. I have been conducting art workshops since 2012 and participating in art galleries […] I don’t want to limit myself in the canvas frame. Always dream big! I’m always up to explore new things. Mostly, I like live painting as it gives me a chance to reach a large audience and capturing their reactions.”
Graffiti in Khobar
The artist, whose work has graced streets in London and Spain, has also participated in several art exhibitions, worked on live paintings at book exhibitions, and has done projects with Riyadh Municipality City. In addition, she has worked on a social campaign that aims to educate the general public on the importance of art.
As an artist whose medium can vary from location to location, Bint Saidan explained to the online portal that during the course of creating any new mural, she modifies her work as she progresses, saying “I paint, modify and spontaneously change a lot. When I find something that really inspires me and encourages me to finish my work in one day.”