Heal, paint, express: When artists and patients came together to spread joy and warmth

The medical profession has come a long way in recognising the healing benefits of art


Purva Grover

Published: Thu 8 Sep 2022, 5:45 PM

Ask any artist and they’d tell you how creating art for them is like meditating; they’d speak about the benefits of practising any art form, from connecting to oneself to calming nerves. Renée Phillips, artists’ advocate and mentor, and founder, director and curator of Manhattan Arts International, is known for the integration of arts with health. It was her words, “The medical profession has come a long way in recognising the healing benefits of art. My hope is that someday the arts will be considered as significant in everyone’s lives as breathing fresh air, eating clean foods, and performing physical exercise,” that rang in our head when we attended the Art Therapy event hosted by Funun Arts Group at Gargash Hospital, earlier this week.

Twenty artists from the Funun Arts, a community of art galleries, visual arts, designers, photographers, et al, worked together with the 20 patients at the hospital, to create beautiful, meaningful artworks. Ghada Sawalmah, CEO, Gargash Hospital, said, “Arts is a good medium of expression. Today, our patients expressed themselves through their pieces of art. We believe that this will support the healing process of the patients, and we would be keen to explore the benefits of art therapy further.” Shiba and Farah Khan, founders, Funun Arts, shared, “Working for the wellness of the society and giving back to the community was the motive which brought Funun Arts and Gargash Hospital together.”

Kavita Sriram, a participating artist, expressed how the morning led her to experience an irreplaceable, everlasting feeling of joy and calmness as she worked with the patients. Stefania Pomillo, another artist added, “As artists, we are blessed with a magical wand, which can bring happiness to people.”


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