Shadi Al Atallah


Shadi Al-Atallah is a London based multi-disciplinary artist, best known for their figurative large-scale paintings: the dark and dynamic figures depicted in their mixed-media work are distorted self-portraits of the artist. Al-Atallah derives much of their inspiration from their childhood in Saudi Arabia, also the place of their birth, and the intersections of their mixed-race queer identity into adulthood.



Pronouns: They/Them
Practice: Multi- Disciplinary Artist
Location: London


How do you determine success?

My definition of success is feeling like I’ve made a difference by being visible. I feel like if I’m able to exist in this very white, very straight, very european artworld then I feel like I can inspire other people to feel like they belong in this world which is really inaccessible. If I can make that one change in my own community I feel like I have been successful. I know that financial success is also really important of course - because you want to be able to survive doing something you love. That’s not exactly my main goal but I really do wish that I could make a living doing this one thing that contributes to both my mental health and my mental well being.

What do you find most inspiring about the art /world right now?

The interconnectivity of people. I really think digital platforms allow people to be heard in ways that didn’t exist before. It really gives people a sense of hope and a sense of purpose. I think it fuelled my own artwork because it made me feel like we can create our own spaces and that we don’t have to wait for anyone to give us a voice or anyone to make us feel like we’re being heard.