Saudi Arabia | Tagreed Albagshi: Inside Borders

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“Untitled,” Tagreed Albagshi, 2010.

Much has been reported about the status of women in Saudi Arabia. While a lot of what has been said has come from those on the outside looking in, we turned to award-winning Saudi Arabian artist Tagreed Albagshi for insight into public and private lives of the women in her homeland. She shares how she uses the canvas to tell stories about women, in her own words.

Women are important subjects in my work simply because I am a woman. I am a Saudi Arabian woman. I see it as my responsibility to defend our right to live equally under the same sky.

Publicly, men and women in Saudi Arabia rarely share the same space. This particular painting (Untitled, pictured right) represents the intimate mergence of those two different worlds. It reflects a woman’s demand for security, warmth, and love. But it also represents a palpable tension with male authority. The woman in this piece embraces herself because she needs the assurance of security and tenderness. The man stands next to her with closed eyes and an expression of peace. He is content with the state of things. The bird he holds on his hand is a message to her that he is the one who accommodates her universe—and therein lies the conflict. –Tagreed Albagshi

Visit to view Albagshi’s work

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