Thuraya Al Baqsami

Born 1952, Kuwait City, Kuwait
Lives and works in Kuwait City, Kuwait

Isabella Ellaheh Hughes
Kuwaiti artist Thuraya Al-Baqsami is one of the Gulf’s pioneering contemporary artists and writers. She lived through the 1990-1991 Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, which had a lasting impact on her work. Working as a printmaker and painter, her practice has evolved over the years, but an emphasis on faces and the human form remains a recurring element. Depicting a two bald figures, Al-Baqsami’s blue-toned etching The Parting from 1991, features a melancholic scene of a woman nestling her head on wounded man’s shoulder. Two bullet holes appear to be in the head of the man as well as the dove in flight above the two figure’s loving embrace. Showing an aptitude for writing and the arts from childhood, Al-Baqsami began exhibiting her work as a teenager in the 1960s. She studied fine art in Cairo and later earned a Master’s degree in illustration at the Surikov Institute in Moscow. Al-Baqsami has exhibited internationally and was awarded the Kuwaiti State Prize for her book "Cellar Candles" (1993), about her experiences during the Gulf War.