Saudi Arabian graffiti artist Noura Bin Saidan is not new to creating larger-than-life murals. Her works are seen occupying the walls of Khobar’s neighborhoods, many she created by scaling scaffolds. However, the artist has taken her high level of skill to even higher heights this week, spending hours atop a self-operated crane to don the walls of Riyadh City Boulevard with 16 murals of the region’s most renowned singers and writers.
Speaking to Reuters, the young female artist explained that mural drawings require a high level of skill in not just the art form itself but also when it comes to handling the crane. Bin Saidan told the news media that she learned to man cranes “so drawing can be easier and I can depend on myself to get anywhere easily, especially because we work in high places, as high as 30 meters.”
#Saudi artist Noura Bin Saidan covers Riyadh's City Boulevard with 16 larger-than-life paintings of the Middle East's most famous singers and writers as part of #RiyadhSeason— SAPRAC (@SapracOrg) November 27, 2021
The 16 murals for Riyadh Season, which is a packed annual calendar of arts, culture, and entertainment-related events, took Bin Saidan 21 days to complete and include images of famous figures such as Umm Kulthum, Abdel Halim Hafez, and more. Asked about having her works be part of this year’s Riyadh Season, Bin Saidan said, “I’m so proud that my murals are considered amongst the most important landmarks in the Boulevard. This is something I’m proud of and it makes me really happy.”
A fine arts graduate, Bint Saidan has been passionate about street art right from high school. Indeed, it was during that time she first attempted to paint on a huge canvas using oil paints. Today, she is part of a small but growing community of Saudi female graffiti artists and when she is not working on putting her passion projects on walls across the Kingdom, she is working on branding and marketing projects, conducting art workshops, and showcasing her works in art galleries.
Speaking to Destinations KSA in 2018, she explained that by dabbling in various art practices, she is attempting to not limit herself “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.”