Picture of HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan by Entesar Aldahari.
Aisha Hamad AlMidfa
Art is a form of self-expression; it manifests in various forms without any rules. You do not need to be an artist in order to make art; all types of art are valid and immaculate. What about art amidst the pandemic? Art seems to be inspiring many to start creating their own masterpieces or to finally have the courage to try something new.
Khawla Alnuaimi is a college student at AUS who has given us an insight as to what art can be utilised for in her experience during the pandemic.
Additionally, Entesar Aldahari is an art teacher at Sharjah City for Humanitarian Services who also sheds light to what role art plays in her life, particularly amidst the pandemic.
What does art symbolise to you, particularly amidst the pandemic?
Khawla: “It is my getaway from reality, I usually enjoy outdoor activities and spending time in nature, but suddenly with everything being cancelled, and we had to stay indoors, as you can imagine I was shocked and overwhelmed. Previously before the pandemic I used to paint less, but as of recently, I started to paint more frequently due to the pandemic. Painting has helped me avoid overthinking, and I usually go for landscape pieces as it helps me imagine as if I’m out there.”
Entesar: “Art, in general, has weaved in messages or hidden messages that can be symbolic and influential during difficult times and other times as well. Merely just one piece of a drawing or painting can raise awareness and a sense of understanding to society faster than technology and its various uses.”
How do you stay inspired to make art during the pandemic? Do you find that your art inspires others?
Khawla: “During the pandemic, I use art as escapism from reality. The quarantine has given us a lot of free time in which a lot of people tend to overthink, and to me, painting helps me avoid overthinking. One of my ways to stay inspired is to light up my best candle, make me a cup of coffee/tea, and then concentrate only on the painting and the colours I'm mixing to end up with the landscape of a place I want to be at. I am not sure if my art inspires others; however, I might have encouraged some to start painting as I usually share videos of my work.”
From your experience as an art teacher, how can art construct a hopeful attitude and approach to life during the concurrent pandemic?
Entesar: “Without a doubt, art is expressed and translated to whatever a person may be feeling or experiencing. This particular phenomenon is scientifically being studied abroad in private hospitals of how art and even music can be used to promote or better emotional wellbeing or other ailments. I believe many are trying out new hobbies at the moment, and the easiest and most expressive is art. Art is easy to explore as all ages might find it enjoyable and the endless world of colours that one can choose from is boundless, making it even more pleasant.”
Aisha is an intern with Gulf Today. She covers the Emirati community, culture, and food.
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