By Ankita Chaturvedi Khaleej Times, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) "Self Love" is the theme of this year's annual "Woman2woman" art exhibition in the UAE
In the run up to Valentine's Day, specialist events company Woman2woman urges UAE residents to look at love in a new way.
In today's busy world, we constantly try to seek affection and attention from others, which is not always successful. People rarely take time out to appreciate and love themselves.
To encourage people in the UAE to get comfortable with themselves and appreciate their own worth, Woman2woman announced 'Self Love' as the theme for their annual art exhibition 'Against the Tides'.
The 7th edition of the show will focus on the artists displaying self love through their paintings and other work.
Over 23 people are participating in the upcoming event, including painters, photographers, chocolate makers, bakers etc.
"Every year, we try to motivate talent in the UAE through this exhibition, especially budding artists, for mainly two reasons... Firstly, mainline art galleries are expensive to display in and second, being selected to display your work in one, is not easy. This year, at least 50 per cent of the artists in our show are first timers. February being the month of love, we thought of a similar theme," said Zareen Khan, founder of Woman2woman events and organiser of the event.
"For every person, self love manifest differently. For some, it can be spirituality, and for others it can be taking care of the home, so we will see all those ideas in the exhibition," added Zareen.
Hafiza Syed, a 47 year old professional painter, thinks it's a great thing to accept oneself completely and be able to showcase that. "I am going to showcase my paintings; one is 'Companion of the Moon' which represents leaving behind everything you fear. The other one shows a lady walking on a tightrope, despite people pulling her away. The idea is to motivate everyone to not be part of the rat race and value your own self," she said.
"Last year, the theme was on cancer survivors and really made an impact. Hopefully, this year's theme will leave an equal impact and inspire everyone to fall in love with one self," Syed added.
Another artist, Kavita Sriram, an entrepreneur based in Dubai for the last 19 years, is a first-time participant in the show.
"In the last two years, I have worked on 40 paintings, but this is the first time I got a platform to display my work. The theme is apt and is much needed and required these days; people just run after others for emotional support. This is to show them that they can be strong by themselves," Sriram said.
The art show is open for public, and is on from February 15 to 21 at the Cartoon Art Gallery in Al Quoz. Khan concluded: "I want people to just come and experience the art works, not necessarily to buy it. It will at least boost these artists' confidence and belief in their own talent".