Thuraya Al-Baqsami is a pioneering artist and writer from Kuwait. She was one of the first active female artists in the Gulf region, where she began publishing her short stories and exhibiting her art works as early as her teenage years in the mid-1960s. She studied fine arts in Cairo, then at the Surikov institute in Moscow during the Soviet era where she received her Master's degree in illustration. She later moved on to living in several countries in Africa until she setteld back in her native Kuwait in the early 1980s. In 1990-91 she lived through the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, which immensely affected her creative output as a collective traumatic experience for her and her family. She was awarded the state prize for her book "Cellar Candles" (1993) in which she renders her ordeals during the war into poetic fiction. The book has since been translated in more than 10 languages.
Thuraya has held 60 solo exhibitions world wide, and participated in over 250 collective exhibitions spanning her long career. She has won numerous awards for both her art and her writing. Her works are in the collections of the British Museum, UNESCO, the Museum of Human Rights Geneva, and the Kuwait National Museum among others.
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