MUNTHE ART MONDAY: ALYMAMAH RASHED
Please introduce yourself and tell us about what you do.
My name is ALYMAMAH RASHED and I’m a painter and a storyteller based in Kuwait. Through my artwork I tell the story of constructing my body, demolishing it, and reclaiming it, whether I’m working in the studio or going about my daily life. This process is a perpetual presence in my life, never fading away. Additionality, I am employed at the Kuwait National Museum as an archivist, where I am responsible for documenting archeological artifacts unearthed in Kuwait.
Could you explain more about how being a woman has affected your career?
I am fueled with love, light, and passion. I have received support from family, friends, and dear mentors since my time studying and living in New York.
While in New York, I experienced racism, discrimination, and verbal abuse, making it challenging to continue pursuing my love for creating art, especially after working in multiple galleries with hostile work environments.
I questioned whether I still wanted to be an artist, but I found my answer when I decided to apply for graduate school and pursue it. I have healed tremendously through my classmates, mentors, and my determination to fully embrace myself and my art.
After graduating, I chose to return to my homeland, even though I had other plans in place. I felt an urgent need to paint in my own country. I realigned myself with my desires and regained my sense of power. Fortunately, I met two inspiring gallerists who fully support my visions, my practice, and my aspirations: Maliha Tabari, Found of Tabari Artspace (Dubai, UAE), and Oceane Sailly, Founder of Hunna Art.
Both Maliha and Oceane are powerful women within the region and abroad who elevate my work and my sense of self. It is essential for artists to align themselves with a support system that genuinely and authentically connects with their goals and sense of identity.
Can you name some other female (artist) that inspires you and explain why they do so?
I am deeply moved and inspired by Hayv Kahraman’s work. Her art is unwavering and resolute. Her figures celebrate the extraordinary through a playfulness that challenges traditional, religious, and political expectations imposed on women.
While her figures remain fixed in time on the canvas, they seem to live eternally in the eyes of the viewer, gazing at them and saying, “I am here, look at me.”
What has been the most challenging aspect of being a female artist?
The most challenging aspect has been learning how to reclaim parts of myself once they have been taken away. In other words, it’s about rediscovering what can be reborn. However, I am always surprised by the amount of strength I hold within myself.
I believe that all these experiences have a purpose and are meant to happen to me. I don’t wish for others to go through the difficult moments I’ve experienced, but I have no regrets about them. I’ve learned to strengthen my foundation through renewed autonomy rather than feeling lost.
What would you like people to notice in your artwork?
That chaos exists to create freedom.
Demolishment exists to give birth to recollection.
Rebirth exists to hold renewal that breaks free from repetition.
Love exists to surrender your soul within and beyond your body.
You body is not a barrier; it transports your soul to the secret sky.