A brush with special life and light

A brush with special life and light
Ashar Hussain giving finishing touches to his painting at Mawaheb in Bastakiya, Dubai. Photo by Neeraj Murali

Dubai - The paintings are exhibited in well-known galleries and are sold independently as well


Ankita Chaturvedi

Published: Fri 14 Oct 2016, 10:50 PM

As soon as you enter 'Mawaheb', a studio dedicated to special needs adults in the city, you will notice paintbrushes and colours everywhere. And people are busy expressing themselves on canvas. One can find peace of mind amid the hustle and bustle of the area.
Ashar Hussain, a hearing impaired student at the studio is just 19. But he can beat any professional artist with his painting skills. An excellent dancer and a keen photographer, he told us in sign language how much he loves to click - anything ... people, mountains or nature.
Wemmy de Maaker founded this unique point in 2010 to connect special needs adults above the age of 16 to make them feel like real adults. She intended to treat and speak to them like adults. "We expect them to behave like adults and there cannot be a better platform than painting."
"The youngest student here is 18 years old and the oldest, 60. We teach them live skills, social skills and communication skills. This studio is not just about art, ?but what they learn during the ?day, like for example, how to deal with the frustrations. We try to become independent young adults who are members of the society. Art is just a bonus, it's about the process".
These paintings are exhibited in well-known galleries of the city and are sold independently as well. The studio also includes a  café and it gives an opportunity for people to walk in and take a sip of coffee while looking at an impressive collection of paintings and sculpture.
Anavilla Aspuria is the caretaker of T Thorson, a 24-year-old lovely girl coping with autism. She said: "she is a very positive person and enjoys coming here; everyone has become friends here now. She has been coming here for the last five years and I have noticed lot of improvement in her."

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