Bird & Stone [Archives:1997/52/Culture]

December 29 1997

Thuraya Al-Baqsami, born in Kuwait 1952, began her art activity at an early age. She became a member of the Kuwaiti Art Society in 1969, and since then has participated in most of their exhibitions. For more than 28 years, she delves in the arts; studying, participating and having membership in art societies. She received the bronze model in the Society’s Spring Exhibition of 1971. Thuraya Al-Baqsami then continued her art studies at the College of Fine Arts in Cairo. In 1974, she joined the Arts Institute of Surikov in Moscow where she completed here Master’s Degree in the art of graphic book illustration and design (1981). In Senegal, she completed art courses in printing on silk-screen, ceramics, and drawing on silk and batik (1980-83). In 1986, she issued a book “The Free Gallery in 25 Years”. In January 1988, she established with her husband the Ghadir Gallery. She received the Golden Palm Leaf from the GCC in April, 1989 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. In the summer of 1991, she took an etching course in London. Again in February 1992, she received the Golden Palm Leaf from the GCC. She received the first prize from the Kuwait National Museum. During the summer of 1992, Thuraya took a silk-screen printing course in London.
Thuraya Al-Baqsami participated in several exhibitions in the Arab World and abroad. For example, she participated in the International Youth Festival in Moscow 1985, in Cairo in August 1987, in Bonn in March 1990, in Istanbul in July 1993, and she participated in a collective exhibition in London at the Albert Gallery in July, 1992. Finally, and for the first time in her life, Thuraya, Al-Baqsami has come to Yemen to set up an exhibition. “I hope this exhibition will improve the relations between Yemen and Kuwait,” she said. She presented 22 paintings dealing with two issues; the position of Eastern woman and the issue of liberating Kuwait, as well as some paintings inspired by the Kuwaiti folklore. She has no specific school of art to follow. Actually, she has her own school. About the movement of plastic art in Kuwait, she said that it started to take place during the last few years. In Yemen, she thinks that some Yemeni artists have a very nice and distinguished presence. “With real support from the government,” she said, “they should be given the chance to set up exhibitions abroad.” She liked the presence of Yemeni tradition in their paintings. Visiting some historical places in Yemen (Wadi Dahar, Kawkaban and Bab al-Yemen), she was fascinated by the social atmosphere which gives this place a sense of originality in history. She asserted the importance of the meetings between Yemeni and Kuwaiti intellectuals, regardless of the political relations between the two countries. On the other hand, she herself is trying to prepare a mutual workshop between Yemeni and Kuwaiti artists. She hopes that the Yemeni-Kuwaiti relations will be as good as they used to be before the Gulf War. Finally, she thanked the Ministry of Culture which invited her to come to Yemen, and to the Art Club. “I felt that the hearts of Yemenis are beating with love for Kuwait,” she said.
By Doa’a Taha Abdulkader