Dubai: Two UAE-based Indian artists have embarked on a mission to use art as a healing tool to help people suffering from mental disorders.
Aparna Nair and Clinto Jagan believe art can relieve people of anxiety, depression and schizophrenia.
Nair gave up her career as an architect in order to devote more time to her artistic pursuit and to use for it for a cause.
“I met Clinto Jagan two years ago and we found we shared similar aspirations to take our art to a new level. Both of us strongly believed in the healing power of art. This shared belief prompted us to help people with mental problems through art and that is how our collaboration ‘Illustratively Yours’ was born,” says Aparna.
“In many parts of the world talking about mental problems is considered a stigma. As a result people don’t consult a specialist until things get really bad. But if depression or anxiety issues are addressed early on, people can find ways to deal with them. And art can play a big role in the healing process,” she says. The two have created a collection of paintings which they use to introduce their ‘students’, or patients, to the world of art. They then teach the basics of drawing and painting, and encourage the students to create their own artwork.
“Painting helps you to be mindful about the current moment and that is what helps in healing,” says Jagan. “Living in the past or worrying about the future can cause a lot of stress. But painting helps one stay in the present and increase one’s focus. Taking to the brush is like another form of meditation, which helps combat mental issues.”