We sat down with artist Fatimah AlNemer to discuss beauty, art, goals and the artistic process.
H: Please tell us about your journey into the world of art. When and why did you start creating art?
FA: I began my journey in Art at a young age, but my active participation began in 1999 – an Arab woman, imbued with Islamic Culture. I have participated in many international and personal exhibitions. In addition to that, I have been part of many Festivals and Art exhibitions, amongst them: Contemporary Art Exhibition in Mumbai in 2010, the Sharjah Islamic Arts Festival Exhibition- “The Incense Route” held by “Misk Foundation” at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris 2017. As well as an exhibition of 240 artists on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the founding of the Arab World Institute in 2018. I also participated in the exhibition, “Arts and the Kingdom” in London in 2019. I received the first prize at the Saudi Contemporary Arts exhibition in 2010. And a prize for the second youth competition also in 2010. My art has also been exhibited at many international museums.
H: Tell us about the process when you decide to start a new art piece.
FA: When an idea comes to my mind, I begin by giving some concrete form to it. I start by gathering the raw materials, whether it is a wicker, a carpet, an iron sheet, or wood. Thereafter, I take out the painting board.
H: What themes do you pursue?
FA: All themes inspire me, especially that which links to humanity and that which deals with history and issues of women in the past and the present.
H: What do you regard as your greatest inspirations and influences?
FA: I am inspired by everything that has fragrant thoughts, past and present. Everything that embodies my thoughts, be it a book, a novel, a story or a film, a play or history, recent or ancient.
H: What role does art play in Saudi society and society in general?
FA: The Arts have had a strong following in recent years. Riyadh is heading to become the capital of Arabic and International Arts through its 2030 vision. The vision hopes to create a strong culture of Art and Art appreciation comparable with the rest of the world. This is what the Ministry of Culture and Arts is striving for by designating a body for every art form by currently building cities for art and museums as well as special galleries. We foresee a bright future for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
H: What do you hope to achieve with your art?
FA: I now aspire to be an icon for Saudi and Arab art and a voice for it at the most important international museums, until I am able to represent the ideas of Saudi and Arab women with our own culture and thought, and to prove ourselves to the world as women who are diligent as well as leaders despite all the challenges we may have experienced.
H: What are your plans/ goals for the future?
FA: I aspire to work on many art projects. The most important being the revival of an art museum in my region Qatif that will showcase my work and the works of the most important artists in the Kingdom. As for my future projects: I will be part of the Egyptian Art Fair in March, as well as participating in an exhibition in Paris and Tunis in April. Then in June I’ll be off to Germany.
H: What’s your favorite place in your hometown?
FA: I love the sea, since I am a girl of the sea. I was raised with its sound, stories, and its joys. The ocean resembles in me, its depth, mystery and detail.
H: When you’re not creating art, what are you doing?
FA: I love traveling and attending the most important exhibitions around the world as well reading philosophy. I love learning new things. My love for life is a passion representing art, and life is the art representing me.
H: What city would you really love to visit?
FA: My dream is to roam the entire world, especially countries that portray the aesthetics of art in Islamic architecture and within its history and I am passionate about Islamic thought and culture throughout history.