Khobar: With her trademark feathered blonde hair and unforgettable smile, the late Princess Diana is literally sparkling in a stunning new portrait that has gone viral.
Made entirely of beads, Swarovski crystals and buttons, the unique artwork has been viewed over 100,000 times on Twitter and liked by thousands on Instagram-- but the artist herself is not all too surprised.
“I feel so pleased and thankful... but in fact I was not shocked because Princess Diana has tens of millions of admirers,” Jeddah-based artist Sarah Hussein Al-Zaidi said.
She says the piece was inspired by her love for the icon and for her love of synthesizing various materials in art.
“I love beauty and details,” Al-Zaidi said. “Of course the main reason for choosing these materials is that they express beauty and express women in a beautiful way.”
The artwork was displayed at the Assila Hotel in Jeddah at the establishment’s first art exhibit in late August.
The event showcased various pieces from young Saudi talent as well as more experienced artists, as the hotel seeks to promote art and currently has nearly 2,000 exclusive art pieces on display throughout the property, a representative of the hotel said.
Al-Zaidi’s piece is a recreation of then Lady Diana Spencer’s official engagement portrait taken in February 1981, prior to her wedding to Prince Charles later that year.
The now-famous sapphire and diamond engagement ring, which is now worn by the Duchess of Cambridge, is clearly visible on Diana’s hand.
Al-Zaidi says the method was inspired by British artist Jane Perkins who is known for using recycled materials to recreate famous artworks.
But Al-Zaidi herself is no stranger to using unorthodox methods.
She’s been known to use coffee, peanut butter, and yes, even Nutella to make drawings.
Her journey into art began as a little girl, she said.
“One day under the tables of our house, I started my first drawing,” Al-Zaidi said. “It was my special secret place to paint. I was spellbound by it and I still am. Art is my passion.”
The 24-year-old graduate of King Abdulaziz University’s College of Art and Design says this particular piece took a whopping four months to make, with the painstaking process of placing each of the hundreds of small elements that were used.
To give you an idea of just how much work went into it, it took nearly 70 beads, crystals and buttons to create just one eye.
But for Al-Zaidi, who says she’s garnered interest and praise from fans around the globe—including those in the U.K.-- it was all worth it.
“I focused on using the crystals because of the message that I want to express in my artwork is that Diana still as a shining star in the hearts of many people around the world.”
-Yagana is a freelance journalist based in Khobar