Muralist Noura bin Saidan Wants to Show Saudi Arabia’s Beauty to the World
Totally in love with her country’s beauty, culture and heritage, muralist Noura bin Saidan wants to show Saudi Arabia to the world. She believes that she had the immense responsibility to communicate her story and emotions through art.
Noura is Riyadh’s first mural artist. She loves painting murals, not only in the capital, but in all the regions of Saudi Arabia. “I want that art to show the people outside our borders that this is our style, this is our heritage, this is our history, this is what it means to be a Saudi woman.”The young artist believes art is about capturing beauty, Saudi culture is very beautiful.
Noura bin Saidan Painted Saudi Mona Lisa
One of Noura bin Saidan’s popular artworks is the mural on Boulevard Riyadh City. This mural, a stunning and unique work, is called the “Mona Lisa” and was featured in Riyadh Season 2021. It’s basically a young Saudi girl’s face with hair made of bright pink flowers. People traveled from other countries to look at this masterpiece.
Noura attributes her inspiration to a foreign artist who traveled from Europe, about a hundred years ago, to document Riyadh. “I wanted to paint like her. I didn’t know how so I started with a pencil. Then I was able to start painting, won a prize, and then approached my teachers asking them if there was any future in this. They told me there were schools for art, and I knew I had to go down that path.”
After trying hands at traditional artwork, she decided to try something new, fresh and modern. But she found art galleries boring. “I saw the same people every time and I realized that I didn’t want to just show my paintings and sell them with this insular group of people.”Noura said what’s a gallery of 300 people, when there’s millions outside who will never see it. This inspired her to broaden her work and network.
Noura bin Saidan Embarks on Dream Mission
To fulfill her dreams, the artist traveled to Barcelona, Spain and got to see and experience graffiti and street-art culture. She shared that if a piece of artwork isn’t rated by the artistic community, its quickly whitewashed overnight.
Noura said she painted a Saudi woman surrounded by Arabic calligraphy and received immense love. “People had never seen art from our country before, and they were so excited to learn more.” She said her painting stayed up for months, and it took her to new heights. With this her ambition also grew.