Nada Sulaimani uses art as a bridge connecting cultures and peoples


Okaz/Saudi Official Gazette

JEDDAH — Nada Sulaimani, a renowned Saudi visual artist, uses her artistic talent as a bridge connecting the arts and art lovers as well as cultures and peoples.

There were glimpses of her talent for art while she was a student. At first, she started drawing pictures in her classmates’ notebooks. Accounting was her passion and so she joined the accounting degree course at university but continued her artistic work as an amateur rather than a professional artist.

After graduating, and during the period of her job search, Nada decided to join the Mona Al-Qasabi Center to obtain art certificates approved by the Presidency of Youth Protection, which qualifies for arts education. She was then employed as an accountant at King Abdulaziz University Graduate Department Agency, then moved to Ifs Company, then to Emaar, and finally to King University of Science and Technology Department of Finance. Abdullah (KAUST).

Nada used oil colors and brushes to visualize the aesthetic beauty of KAUST, which serves as a bridge between the arts and art lovers. She considers the care and love of nature as the basis of her works.

Speaking to Okaz/Saudi Gazette, she recalled the artist’s humble beginnings and gradual growth within her to become a famous Saudi visual artist. She was heavily influenced by the world famous French painter Oscar-Claude Monet, considered the founder of Impressionist painting, and the eminent Saudi artist and sculptor Dia Aziz Dia.

She started her painting related to her biology subject, when her classmates asked her to draw paintings for them in their notebooks. About her first art exhibition at KAUST, Nada says that she sees her art as a communication bridge between civilizations and peoples.

“Believing in the mission of the university, which it hopes to be a beacon of knowledge and a bridge of communication between civilizations and peoples, I decided to organize a personal exhibition at KAUST. Prior to this exhibition, I participated in group exhibitions in Italy and various parts of Saudi Arabia, including a group exhibition at KAUST on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the founding of the university,” a- she said, adding that it was followed by her solo show. titled “Reflection” at KAUST.

Referring to the solo exhibition, Nada said that “Reflection” came from her own vision of the KAUST area with its incredible beauty and unique reflection on society. There are those who are fascinated by the distinctive Islamic architectural beauty of KAUST, and there are those who flirt with the purity of its sky, the warmth of its shining sun, as well as its pristine sea and its many colors.

“But for me, it was my reflection of its pristine nature, represented by its sky, land and water, and I see comfort and happiness in it from my own perspective as an artist falling in love of the purity and serenity of the air. , the ground and the water. The exhibition also featured my drawings reflecting the landscape after the rain and the reflection of the images under the shadows, apart from my memories on its environment as a KAUST employee.

Nada’s very first personal exhibition at KAUST was held in the presence of a group of university vice-presidents belonging to different nationalities. The artistic works were seen from another angle, concerned with the nature of the place and his studies carried out at the university, such as the mangrove and its importance as it appears in his paintings.

Referring to the painting, which is closest to his heart, soul and conscience, Nada said it is the painting of ‘Reflection’, which depicts the surroundings of KAUST after experiencing the rain and painted more than once. It also reflects the Saudi civilization. She used the dome and the arches of KAUST, as well as the camel and the palm tree as symbols appreciated by all Muslims and non-Muslims who are fascinated and contemplate the diversity of the architectural marvels of KAUST.

Regarding the fine arts movement in Saudi Arabia and the Arab world, Nada said that the artistic talent of young Saudis is most often identified as they pursue fine arts and art history subjects in their school programs. “This formed the first nucleus of the generation of Saudi artists, who then went to other countries, such as Italy, for specialized higher studies. The majority of Arab artists focused either on Arabic calligraphy or expressionism,” she pointed out.

In her message to KAUST and its community, representing more than 100 nationalities from around the world, Nada said that she sees the university campus as a permanent creative space. She sees a bridge of communication between KAUST and Saudi artists to enrich the university with various civilizations.

Nada emphasizes that art is a means of social integration, while KAUST is a leading educational beacon for realizing the Kingdom’s vision and a center for civilizations. It preserves Islamic identity and Arab and Islamic depth, with rewarding economic, scientific and artistic growth, she observed.


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