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UAE-based artist creates art to bring about change in society

Saman Haziq
Filed on November 28, 2019 | Last updated on November 28, 2019 at 07.00 pm
UAE-based, artist, creates, art, change, society, Afshan Quraishi, weak, underprivileged
She is now all set to launch Afshan's Art Studio, which is a non-profit organisation.- Supplied photo

Quraishi hosts a number of workshops and art sessions for patients going through mental or physical traumas.

Based in the UAE for more than three decades, artist and philanthropist Afshan Quraishi, 58 , feels a sense of responsibility to bring awareness towards issues through art. She believes art can capture the imagination of many who may not otherwise pay attention. "My work reflects my own dreams of living in an environment more open and unbiased towards the weak and underprivileged, especially women. I am highly inspired by social causes which highlight the accomplishment of women and empower them to rise higher."

Quraishi hosts a number of workshops and art sessions for patients going through mental or physical traumas, children of determination, terminally ill children and also auctions her artworks in exhibitions to collect money for women empowerment, fertility centres, natural disasters and even war zones. She is now all set to launch Afshan's Art Studio, which is a non-profit organisation to bring about awareness on different social issues as she believes awareness is the first step towards change.

"My family has run charities for generations in our home town of Kurnool (Andhra Pradesh) in India. We, the Mulk family members, though scattered now in different parts of the world, contribute towards it in our own humble way. I have always dedicated a percentage of my earnings towards the charity fund. We hope the next generation will carry it on too."

In line with the UAE's Year of Tolerance theme, she has launched a collection of paintings 'Diversity In Portraits" that show women in various roles and situations. "I have depicted how women are powerful beings and can handle different situations. For example, I have shown a woman who has a physical disability yet she is able to do what not many other normal people can achieve; another painting shows a woman with may hats, depicting her ability to multi-task. All my paintings give this one message out that all human beings are unique due to their differences and no one should be ostracised on any basis. Our society needs to be inclusive and tolerant, which is the theme of this year here in the UAE."

Afshan says her artworks also in a way depict her own journey of growth through perseverance and positivity. "Since the time I have embarked on this wonderful journey, I have found a sense of purpose and fulfillment. Art has helped me to confront the dark parts of myself by banishing them with illumination and forgiveness."

saman@khaleejtimes.com


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