Alymamah Rashed, by Lara Arafeh
Alymamah Rashed, born 1994 in Kuwait, is a storyteller and painter. She explores her faith and identity while addressing the personal and collective trauma she experienced.
A painter at heart, Alymamah received her MFA from Parsons School of Design in New York and her BFA from the School of Visual Arts. Her connection to Kuwait and New York converge in a world she creates on her canvas, a surreal and personal depiction of herself. Her autobiographical portraits encompass all that she absorbs in her daily life from her faith to ornaments of found objects culminating in a meditative space. The ritualistic and introspective act of painting makes the canvas a space for healing. Vulnerable and honest, the paintings raise questions and urge self reflection. She questions the faith she was taught and embarks on a journey of rediscovery, probing the delicate discourse of her identity and spirituality. Alymamah’s paintings are not just a visual documentation of her personal life, but also a collective reflection of what many women, Muslims, and Arabs experience. The strength of her paintings comes from her ability to critically tackle difficult subjects in the region with intellect and poise. Not overtly political, her work nevertheless addresses issues of Islamophobia, gender equality, racism, reclaiming one’s spirituality and femininity, and challenging social norms.
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Alymamah Rashed received her MFA in Fine Arts at Parsons School of Design in 2019 and her BFA in Fine Arts at The School of Visual Arts in 2016. She participated in various exhibitions in New York City including the Czech Center, Parsol Projects, and The New School. In 2021, she had a virtual solo exhibition with Gallery Bawa (Kuwait) and one solo exhibition with Tabari Artspace (UAE). In 2022, she was part of the group exhibition ‘Pathways’ organized by Hunna Art gallery in collaboration with Raffles The Palm (UAE) and will also be part of be part of the "Eyes Wide Shut" exhibition at Firetti Contemporary (Dubai, 2022).
Alymamah Rashed is a recipient of the Masters Scholarship and the Merit Scholarship program by the Kuwait Ministry of Higher Education. She was also a fellow at the Professional Development Initiative Program sponsored by the National U.S-Arab Chamber of Commerce, Kuwait Ministry of Higher Education, Embassy of Kuwait, and the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences. Her work has been featured in numerous magazines worldwide.