FaceOf: Saudi-British artist Nasreen Shaikh Jamal Al-Lail


Nasreen Shaikh Jamal Al-Lail is a Saudi-British artist. She is the founder and director of Variant Space, an art collective that provides a space for Muslim women to creatively express their experiences through art.

Her mixture of painting, video and photographic works are investigations into the connection between self-identity, individual experiences and the physical space in which these conflicts exist.

Having been raised in both Saudi Arabia and Britain, her personal experiences have shaped the way she perceives the fluidity and dynamism of cultural identities.

Al-Lail’s latest creative artwork was on display on Thursday night at GPP Slidefest in Jeddah. A highly popular format, GPP Slidefest offers photographers and artists the platform to showcase their latest projects through a series of slideshows followed by a Q & A session from the audience.

Al-Lail’s artwork incorporates both a subjective and objective point of view that urges the viewer to reflect on how multi-faceted and fluid the concept of identity can be. Her artwork is known to interlace ideas of both culture and gender, as well as religion and politics.

Al-Lail earned her bachelor’s degree in photography from the University of Westminster in 2013. She continued her studies at the University of Westminster London, gaining her master’s degree in photographic studies.

Since she founded Variant Space in 2014, her work has been exhibited in both Saudi Arabia and Britain.

Al-Lail has grown the project to become a powerful medium through which Muslim women can collectively showcase their creative achievements.

Founded on the principle of appreciative collaboration, Variant Space continues to extend this offer to all Muslim women around the world who wish to be a part of this dynamic expressive artistic platform.

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