Nidaa Badwan’s room is less than 100 square feet, lit by a single window and a bare bulb. She has slathered one wall with aquamarine paint and covered another in a patchwork of colored egg cartons. There is a medium-size mirror, an antique sewing machine and iron, two easels, a large yellow ladder and a gas canister on which she boils water to make a sweet cappuccino drink from a packet.

Alienated by Gaza’s restrictive religiosity and constant conflict with Israel, Nidaa Badwan hardly left the room for more than a year. Within its walls she created her own world, and a striking set of self-portraits that are at once classical and cutting-edge.

The project is called “100 Days of Solitude” in homage to Gabriel García Márquez’s landmark novel, though Ms. Badwan’s isolation has been much longer.