Over the years, Lebanese-British designer Nour Hage has had a very anchored presence in the fashion scene. While she was still working in fashion, the young designer and artist found herself drawn into the world of digital art. Today, she is recognized for her passion for both textiles and digital artwork, not to mention her portraits. Her designs are strongly inspired by the culture and history of the Middle East.

“My work is very much ingrained into who I am as a person. A part of me goes into every piece I create, whether that is in art, or design. I’m drawn to most things from the Middle East, mainly focusing on identity, oral history, memory and cultural practices,” she says.

Being based in London pushed the artist to delve deeper into her heritage and to explore the importance of being an Arab woman. “Somehow, living in a cosmopolitan city made me want to explore this side of myself, understanding what my roots are, and how that has formed me both as a person and as an artist,” says Hage.

In 2021, she decided to mainly focus on her textile art practice. It was not until then that she discovered the world of NFTs. For Hage, this venture into the world of fine art and NFTs made complete sense as she saw the potential the space could offer her.

“For the first time in a while I was excited and stimulated. At first I was just creating digital art in my spare time, on weekends or after I was done with my work day. But when I dropped my first series and it got acquired by a collector within the first 24 hours, my mindset shifted,” Hage says.

Queen Zenobia

Not only did the artist love this new medium, but her passion for it turned into excitement and desire. It was at this moment that the newly fledged digital artist decided to dedicate more of her time to NFTs and the world of the blockchain.

In general, Hage’s work has a very strong focus on women. When she started becoming interested in NFTs, the first thing that she noticed was the lack of female representation; especially women of color. This understanding propelled her to create pieces of art that represented women in leadership and powerful roles. Her inspiration is driven by women who have marked history with their strength. “After that I moved to another strong and powerful figure in my life and created a series around portraits of my grandmother,” says Hage.

When it comes to what inspires the artist most, Hage explains that the whole series started with an essay about Queen Zenobia that Sultan Al-Qassemi shared with her. The essay was an academic piece that was discussing textiles in Palmyra when Queen Zenobia was ruler.

“What struck me the most in that essay was the role women in Palmyra had in creating these textiles and how that influenced their societal and financial status within the community,” she says.

Hage is well known for her portraits of Dido, Zenobia and Nefertiti and is currently a Fellow at the Victoria and Albert Musuem (V&A museum) in London.