A Dubai Artist Helps Women Process Difficult Times Through Creativity

DUBAI—Zaahirah Muthy, an artist from Mauritius who has been part of the Dubai art scene for 10 years, has found solace through creativity during some of her life’s more challenging times. Now, she is sharing that experience with other women through workshops that help the women come together and share and express pent-up emotions and challenges through art therapy.

“I am a firm believer that art is a gateway that tells stories, it brings comfort and solace to our heart,” Muthy said. “Going through a divorce back in 2008 and experiencing different life challenges in the past, art has really helped me to shape who I am today and make me see life differently.”

Muthy, who is also the founder of ZeeArts, a global organization connecting artists, said that art is a way to chronicle the events in her life, not least through the coronavirus pandemic. The lockdown imposed to halt the virus’s spread spurred her creativity, and is one of the reasons that pushed her to organize the Women Art Therapy course, which was first held in September at the Alliance Française in Dubai.

“During the lockdown, I have put up a full collection of 40 artworks. I was stressed, panicked like everybody,” Muthy said. She was alone in Dubai with her children, her husband stuck in Qatar and her mother in quarantine on her way back to Mauritius from Dubai. “There was so much pressure on me until I jumped back to my creative world. But out of it, I launched my sixth solo exhibition at Alliance Française Dubai in August.”

With the slowdown of events and exhibitions, it was a huge achievement for her, inspiring her to organize workshops for other women going through similar challenges. “When you are creative, life flows through you,” she said. “There is no pressure and the women can have this ‘me time’ while they paint and listen to their heart.”

A Modality for Processing Emotions

The six women who participated in the first workshop came from a mix of backgrounds, including a cancer survivor and a lawyer. “They were all dedicated and very serious about it, but at the same time, the childhood within themselves was awakened,” said Muthy, who is now training for a diploma in art therapy.

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