Creativity And Conservatism: An Investigation Into The Formation Of Saudi Female Artistic Identity

Fatemah Abdullah Alqahtani

Total Pages: 162
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This book investigates the formation of Saudi female artistic identity within the context of religious and social values and customs. It proposes a theory about the uniqueness of this identity in terms of how Saudi female artists push the boundaries of creativity in a conservative culture.

The book explores the influence of two main factors: Islamic doctrines and sociocultural norms. It examines how these factors relate to the temporal and spatial limitations placed on artists. From a faith-based perspective, it analyses the ambivalent relationship between some Muslim scholars’ thoughts and the concept of creativity, and how this ambivalence can be overcome.

The book also examines the intellectual and cultural factors that have shaped Saudis’ collective mindset about the arts, incorporating significant events in Saudi history and their impact on artistic practice.

If you have questions about what factors shape female Saudi artistic identity or how these artists are challenging norms of representation, this book helps uncover the answers.

Fatemah Alqahtani is a writer, artist, and university lecturer from Saudi Arabia who expresses her intellectual longing for ideas through creative practices (writing and artwork). Fatemah’s creative engagement is a search for new realities beyond traditional frameworks to generate awareness, dialogue, reconciliation, courage, and empathy. This interest has also been motivated by a personal focus on art as a metaphoric observation and a means by which personal thoughts, memories, and ideas can creatively be expressed through various mediums.


Alqahtani has lectured in the visual arts department at the PNU University in Riyadh KSA since 2012. In part, Alqahtani’s research interests include Art engagement in the discipline of Creative Arts Practice while her art artmaking reflects her identity as a Saudi artist who is influenced by a modern Islamic art movement. As an artist, Alqahtani has been an exhibiting artist since 2007, presenting her artwork in Saudi Arabia, Australia, China and Dubai, UAE.

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