Wednesday, October 04, 2023 | Rabi' al-awwal 18, 1445 H
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Break the bias


A group of Muscat-based artists came together and crossed their wrists to commemorate #BreakTheBias, the theme for International Women’s Day. Crossing of the wrists symbolises a commitment to calling out bias, smashing stereotypes, and breaking inequality.

The enactment was performed during the launch of a special artwork on March 8.

Dr. Hafsa Banu, a dentist passionate about art, conceptualised and used this artwork uniquely made out of nails and strings.

Dr Hafsa Banu, HH Seyedah Rania Al Saied, Dr Zahra Akbari, during the launch
Dr Hafsa Banu, HH Seyedah Rania Al Saied, Dr Zahra Akbari, during the launch

Her work depicted six culturally different women randomly chosen together in a single platform showcasing unity and strength.

The hexagon-shaped artwork titled ‘Resilience’ was unveiled by HH Sayyidah Rania al Said at the Waterfront Mall, Art & Soul Gallery, Muscat.

She used her usual medium of nails and strings as they are strong and delicate adding more character to the work.

“This is similar to how a woman binds everyone together in every role she plays in the society,” she adds.

Dr. Hafsa, who took over a month to complete her work, says the six different women relate to six prominent ethnicities around the world.

“It was a sheer challenge to choose just six of them but it is about the essence of womanhood more than anything else. I have left to women whomever they feel connected to rather than labeling each one of them,” she mentions.


She refrained from splashing any colour to their faces as the work symbolises unity to give their unbiased voice.

Explains Dr. Hafsa about her work. “They are separated with yards of threads of different skin tones denoting that we are all one irrespective of race, colour, or ethnicity. We empower each other and are here to break the bias. The artwork’s uniqueness lies in the fact that it can be rotated and each woman in the artwork is emphasised allowing everyone to choose and bind with the woman she feels connected to.”

HH Sayyidah Rania al Said who believes in women empowerment mentioned on her Instagram post that it was a ‘pleasure to reveal this amazing piece of artwork.’

“Be strong, stand for one another, and lift each other up. This is the message which is clearly portrayed by Dr. Hafsa’s artwork,” said HH Sayyidah Rania al Said.

Women from different walks of life visited the gallery and felt connected to her artwork.

Artist and photographer-cum-blogger, Rachel Eapen says Dr. Hafsa’s art strikes a chord in your heart and is ‘easily relatable, putting out a beautiful message and is a unique expression of the unity of women.’

Dr. Zahra Akbari, an artist from Iran, said it was a ‘beautiful idea, well-crafted and symbolises unity in diversity.’

Portrait artist Heather Ford from the UK said the artwork was a ‘very powerful statement and her choice of materials illustrates the strength of all women worldwide. It is beautifully executed, strong, compassionate and inclusive.’

Muscat-based artists at the artwork launch of Dr Hafsa Banu, for IWD2022
Muscat-based artists at the artwork launch of Dr Hafsa Banu, for IWD2022

Kethki Sharma Ambekar, Director, Art & Soul Gallery, said Dr. Hafsa depicted women from different races nationalities in a single platform, and she hopes to see a world without discrimination and in harmony with each other.

Several artists from the Indian Rangrez Art Community namely Dr. Madhurani Sudhir Sawanti, Anjali Babu, Soni Budhia, Dr Shalini Gupta Kumar, also hailed her work as it reflects the essence of International Women’s Day.

Dr. Hafsa is perhaps the only artist in the Sultanate of Oman who has kept the nail and string art alive with her unique patterns. An award-winning artist, she is certified in 3D Baby Casting from The Craft Ecademy Ltd UK.

She had also come out with artworks for IWD themed #EachforEqual on The Royal Cavalry of Oman and in 2021 on #Choosetochallenge on the theme ‘I am Me.’

The artwork will be available for public viewing till March 14.

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