Hessa Alsuwaidi: ‘My Big Poofy Hair is a Big Part of Me’

The Emirati artist discusses one of her latest series.

By Sekka

The Kshati Series by Emirati artist Hessa Alsuwaidi. Images courtesy of Hessa Alsuwaidi.

Inspired by multidisciplinary artists such as Sarah Bahbah, Farah Al Qasimi, Yayoi Kusama, Rexchouk and Covl, Alsuwaidi chooses to express herself with textiles. ‘It’s what I’ve been exploring since I started my undergraduate studies and carried on with until my master’s. I also feel like textiles are tied to the notion of “women’s work,” which fits perfectly with the topics I’m discussing.’

The Emirati artist’s love for textiles and art goes back to when she was a child. ‘I was creative from a very young age and thought that I would pursue a career in fashion design growing up. My mom and I would make pleated skirts out of craft rolls, and I always participated in art projects and competitions at school.’

In this series titled Kshati, which translates to big poofy hair in Arabic, the artist explores her personal journey from being a girl to womanhood, and how it impacts her sense of identity and change in one’s perception of themselves and the way they are around people. ‘My big poofy hair is a big part of me, my personality and my identity,’ says the artist. ‘The curls that I choose to show complete me and are an integral part of me, in a mental and physical manner.’

We feature Al Suwaidi and her work in our Womanhood Issue. Click here to buy a digital copy of the issue. To read the entirety of this article in print, click here or here to order a print copy of the issue.

The views of the authors and writers who contribute to Sekka, and the views of the interviewees who are featured in Sekka, do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Sekka, its parent company, its owners, employees and affiliates.