Saudi Arabia is on a strict lockdown in light of the current COVID-19 pandemic, and to continue to highlight their ever emerging art scene, art connoisseurs can take virtual tours of this particular artist’s work, amongst others via Ozla Art’s website. One of the exhibitors is Fatimah Al Nemer, a multiple award winning artist, who hails from Al Qatif in Saudi Arabia, and has been creating works of art since 1999. Patriotic to her country and optimistic about Vision 2030, she hopes to see the Kingdom’s capital become one known as a global art hub.
Al Nemer’s pieces often depict young women in traditional attire, set against a rich backdrop of what looks like an intricately patterned carpet. The women in each one of her pieces of art are a symbolization of a desire to be anything but the stereo type that Arab women are often subjected to. Fatimah creates a sense of freedom for her subjects in what is already viewed as a strictly conservative society. Continuing to create her works of art in quarantine, her latest piece is entitled, “Love in the Time of Corona (2020)” and conveys a message of hope and optimism that there will be a silver lining after the COVID-19 pandemic.
In Fatimah Al Nemer’s other pieces, she often conceals her identity behind a veil, including Carpet Sheikha (2019), Love in Cinema Time (2018) and The Bride Carpet (2019), which all have themes of the social and political narrative in Saudi Arabia at the time of creation. The Saudi artist uses mixed media to create, often using various recycled materials that are entwined with Saudi’s rich culture and heritage. It's crucial for her to share personal experiences through her work as history and modern beliefs exist together on her canvas to break social and cultural barriers.
“The distinction between beauty, cruelty and contradictions of self through picturing myself in my works, with the strategic use of contemporary intellectual philosophy and concepts, is a journey of struggle in itself,” she told Harper's Bazaar.
Fatimah has exhibited her work internationally including at the Islamic Art Fair in the Museum of Islamic Art in Sharjah in 2014, the Museum of the Prince of Wales in Mumbai in 2010, the Museum of Modern Art in Sweden in 2012 for the Exhibition of Contemporary Art and not to mention her participation in the celebration of the 30th anniversary of Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris in 2018.