Untitled, by Aftab Ahmed

Turn Your Lockdown Art into Murals in the UAE

With many people around the world stuck inside due to lockdowns caused by the coronavirus pandemic, some have experimented with art to pass the time. 

“Some people are using art as a form of escapism. [It is] an exchange of physical freedom for emotional freedom [and] an experience where an adult has a chance to return to childhood.”

A Dubai-based studio, Art Painting Lab, is encouraging all artists to share their lockdown art on social media. The studio plans to take artwork from both professionals and amateurs and turn the pieces into a series of large public murals across the United Arab Emirates. 

Untitled, by Aftab Ahmed. Credit: Art Painting Lab

The Art Painting Lab’s aim for the initiative is to share a message of hope and commemorate this unprecedented time. 

“We are spreading optimism, showing that people can come together and make something amazing," Sam Saliba, founder of Art Painting Lab, says. 

Since the beginning of the project on April 20, 2020 many people have shared submissions, including healthcare workers, cleaners, and professional artists. 

The works range from cartoons to ink drawings to colorful paintings and shared themes such as uncertainty are expressed. 

Filipino landscape architect Arriane Fresno submitted “Distancing of Adam,” a painting inspired by Michelangelo’s

“The Creation of Adam.”

Fresno’s work depicts two hands with gloves on that are prevented from touching by an ECG heartbeat line, signifying physical separation and the desire for connection.

"Distancing of Adam" by Arriane Fresno. Credit: Art Painting Lab

Many artists say picking up a paintbrush helps to reduce their stress and ease anxiety felt due to current situations. A senior lecturer in art at the UK’s University of Portsmouth says creating art can have therapeutic benefits which could include lowering blood pressure. 

Others have used art to express the threat they feel coronavirus presents by depicting masks or isolation. 

Here are some of the submissions Art Painting Lab has recieved: 

"Quarantine Life," by Minakhee Mishra.c. Credit: Art Painting Lab

"UAE Covid-19 mask," by Mark Mones. Credit: Art Painting Lab

"Sky," by Sara Joseph. Credit: Art Painting Lab

"Mussels," by Soroshi Michelle. Credit: Art Painting Lab

Untitled, by Mariam Erin Pinza. Credit: Art Painting Lab

*partially sourced @ www.cnn.com


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