Image Credit: Supplied

The Dubai International Art Centre (DIAC) is hosting an exhibition, Seasons of Change, featuring artworks created by residents of the Dubai Foundation for Women and Children (DFWAC), the first licenced non-profit shelter in the UAE for women and children who are victims of domestic violence, child abuse and human trafficking. This is the DFWAC’s first show in the UAE and the vibrant artworks on display express the hope and optimism of the artists and their determination to change their lives for the better. All proceeds from the show will be used to further support and empower women and children who need assistance.

The event was initiated by Fiona Petrocelli, a volunteer board member at DIAC, who facilitated the organisation of a series of art workshops, conducted by art teachers from DIAC, that helped the DFWAC residents to discover the artist within them and to express their emotions. During these workshops, the budding artists took inspiration from the landscaped gardens at the shelter and its butterfly logo to create paintings that are infused with colour and positivity, and speak about the courage and resilience of the artists, as well as the healing power of art.

“The art workshops really helped our residents to release stress, relax, express themselves, forget about their personal problems and focus on their creativity,” Asma Al Suwaidi, senior activities coordinator at DFWAC says.

The DFWAC was established in 2007 to offer immediate protection and support services in accordance with international human rights obligations, to victims of domestic violence, child abuse and human trafficking. The facilities it offers for victims to reach out for help include a 24/7 helpline (800111) and live web chat.

“This exhibition is a great way to boost the confidence of these women and children, who have suffered huge traumas; and the funds raised will help to support empowerment programmes for them. We hope the show will also create greater awareness within the community about the services and facilities we provide in order to have a society free of violence,” Ghaya Al Habtoor, marketing executive at DFWAC says.

Seasons of Change will run at Gallery 76 at the Dubai International Art Centre, behind Mercato Mall until September 16.