Al-Mansour screen-prints, draws and paints on large sheets of fabric or paper. Like a palimpsest she structures her designs within a spatial architecture. Through her unique visual language, which harks to the past whilst engaging with the present, her work creates a commentary that challenges the dominant hegemony in her society.
She says: “My images examine Arabs’ social values and cultural ideals. I explore the veiled spaces of Arab women, and juxtapose that with the deeply seated belief of the sacred feminine. I do this through celebrating the Arab aesthetics. I make drawings of stylized figures and faces integrated with Arabic patterns and calligraphy.” These drawings are then transformed into screen-prints on fabric using a combination of dye, ink and henna. Fabric too is a traditional choice but it is also malleable, free, and traditionally an important Islamic medium.
The cross-fertilization between ancient and traditional is central to Mansour’s work. She is influenced by the many challenges of contemporary culture and its rapidly transforming aesthetic. There is no doubt Al-Mansour’s work has the power to excite, both in her representation of traditional values, as well as through her challenging of prejudices and expectations. She has created a unique aesthetic which is not always what it seems, and which makes us look again.
Hend Al Mansour has been exhibiting for over ten years in solo exhibitions and group shows spanning Saudi Arabia to Minneapolis. The artist is also a Member of Tomouh, a group of leaders in various disciplines from the Gulf Countries Council, board Member of Arab-American Cultural Institute (AACI), founding member of Arab Artists in the Twin Cities (AATC) and also organizes and curates group shows for Muslim and Arab artists. She was represented by Lahd Gallery at the Singapore Art Fair in 2014. Al-Mansour also lectures and publicly speaks about artists in Muslim societies and women in Islam. These interests demonstrate Al-Mansour’s breadth and philosophy, as seen in her work. With a background in medicine and with a Master’s degree in Fine Arts, the artist shows her passion for intellectual enquiry, spirituality and creativity.