RIYADH: “Rings of Light” is a solo exhibition featuring 33 artworks by visual artist Tagreed Al-Bagshi and is being held at the L’Art Pur Foundation in Riyadh under Misk Art Week’s sixth edition.
“It is about the empowerment of Saudi women,” Al-Bagshi told Arab News, speaking about her exhibition, which documents what the artist describes as the rapid development of Saudi women.
In “Rings of Light,” each subject in the paintings reflects an inner glow related to personal experience and growth, some representing the challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic and others capturing the past and present milestones achieved by Saudi women.
“One of the topics I worked on was the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the artist explained, detailing how she sought to explore lockdowns and solitude in her art.
Many parts of Al-Bagshi’s works deal with Saudi women in relation to the Kingdom’s reforms.
“The empowerment that has taken place is not insignificant; the powers and abilities that have been given to women, as well as their achievements and honors for the homeland, are very great,” Al-Bagshi said.
“Indeed, in the recent period, the Saudi woman has shown us that she is an honorable face of the homeland. At the same time, we see her able to be a mother, a wife and a worker,” she added.
Al-Bagshi explained how she seeks to depict the Saudi woman’s strength, success and perseverance in all of her art pieces through the symbol of a lion. One of her paintings, “Gold Shine,” shows a lion with wings, ready to soar and explore life’s challenges, while another — “Soft Power” — shows seven women, dressed in black, with lions posing in front of them.
According to the artist, women have always had a lion within them, waiting for an opportunity to reveal itself and show its power.
The exhibition was curated by Khariya Refaat, and as visitors walk through the gallery, they can hear a voice over the speakers reading a text written by Al-Bagshi that explains the meaning behind the paintings.
The artist, who began drawing as a young child, has worked with the Misk Art Institute in the past and believes that art plays a major role in delivering messages and emotions that remain with visitors.
“The importance of art and the large audiences that attend art events have a great role in developing cultural awareness,” she said.
Al-Bagshi is originally from Al-Ahsa, in eastern Saudi Arabia, and has been holding solo art exhibitions within and outside of the Kingdom since 2001. “Rings of Light” marks her 19th exhibition.
“Rings of Light” was launched on Dec. 6 and will run until Jan. 5.