Saudi artist Wafa Alqunibit is creating a series of public art installations promoting the Islamic faith through her "99 Names of God" series. Alqunibit believes that public art can be a powerful tool for promoting peace and kindness, and she was inspired to create religious art after returning to Saudi Arabia in 2017 and finding a lack of it.
Alqunibit's art has been exhibited in galleries across the globe, including the National Museum in Saudi Arabia, and she was even placed on the dean's list upon graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts and a Sculpture Master of Fine Arts from Savannah College of Art and Design.
Alqunibit believes it is her duty as an artist to depict Muslim conduct via her work, especially in light of the enormous prejudice that Muslims have to endure in Western nations. She deliberately contrasts the brusque assumption of terrorism and what is, at its core, a religion that preaches mercy and tolerance via her artistic creations.
In order to engage audiences from diverse backgrounds, Alqunibit purposefully develops contemporary interpretations of the faith. She discovers that abstract calligraphy offers space for reflection and meditation. She was inspired to making large-scale public art installations because she thinks that their presence in a public setting encourages discussion about the significance and goal of the piece.
Alqunibit's "Al-Asma Ul-Husna" ("99 Names of Allah") series is a sculptural collection of attributes of God in Islam, each with its own context and significance. Her thesis exhibition, titled "The Power of the Name," juxtaposed the tranquility of the words they formed with the harsh metal components. The exhibition afterwards had its premiere in Riyadh and was then shown a second time at the National Museum.
Alqunibit's first official show in the US in 2012, titled "Women Under the Veil," was a series of four paintings, each draped in a material that reached the gallery's entryway. The purpose of the textiles was to draw the audience's attention to the stunning artwork that lay underneath as they entered the space.
Alqunibit's art aims to promote the beauty and meaning of Islam and to showcase the behavior of Muslims through art. She believes that art can be a powerful tool for promoting peace and kindness, and she continues to create public art installations that inspire contemplation and introspection, and believes that this is the time for the world to wake up and take notice.