Cartoon Art Gallery boasted of a full house on Thursday, 1 September 2016 – the opening night of Against the Tides 2016 art exhibition.  Thanks to W2W events founder, Zareen Khan, 30 artists (including myself) showcased their concept of ‘Diversity’ through breath-taking pieces of artwork that occupied both the floors of the art gallery.  Artists included Sree Lakshmi, Sarrah Tambawala, Pari Sagar, Eizabeth Bruce, Samar Kamel, Sandhya Rajan, Batool Jafri, Nissa Riyas, Dima Al Malakeh, Taline Balian, Romy Ravindran, Parul Parasramka, Shiba Khan, Shytal Gusani, Rashida Fakhri, Reena Dhiman, Dagmar Braendle, Minisha Bhardwaj, Gihan Fawzy, Gwyneth Rasquinha, Noopur Ahuja, Ria Sharma, Veena Devagiri, Humaira Hassan, Afshan Quraishi, Bushra Malik, Mrinmay Sebastian and Divya Suratkal.
‘Diversity’ attracted artworks that revolved around topics that women are constantly faced with – empowerment, unity, harmony, peace, leadership and even solidarity.
Jan D'Sa art

Zareen and I pose next to my resin artwork on my left (bottom tier). Photo © Sree Lakshmi, W2W events

Colourful artworks

Colourful artworks


Top Floor art

Don’t miss the top floor artworks. The first two artworks are by Humaira Hussain. © Photo w2w art


Colourful artworks

Colourful artworks


Against the Tides art exhibition

w2w Events Founder, Zareen Khan, explains what the Against the Tides exhibition is all about, at Cartoon Art Gallery

In introducing the artwork to the guests who had turned up to the opening night, Zareen Khan said: Some of the artists have portrayed themselves in their paintings, in order to capture the changes in their own lives, while other artists have used their artworks as a medium to reflect the world as they see it.”
A view from the top

A view from the 1st floor of Cartoon Art Gallery


Artwork Cartoon Art Gallery

Artworks line the wall next to the staircase that leads to a floor with more artwork

Two amazing artists

Gihan Fawzy (L) and Artists Samar Kamel (R) look dazzling at the opening night. Photo © w2w events


This is what two of the participating artists had to say about their work.
Gweneth Rasquinha creates art so that they emanate positive energy to the viewer. “Through my artwork titled Dancing With Diversity, I envision an ideal world where a melange of colours dance together; in other words, where we can co-exist and embrace our differences. The feathers that I have painted are of different shapes, densities and colours – to capture the different people around the world. I love that hint of realism mixed with the abstract.
“As for my painting Serenity, where delicately painted dragonflies flitter around the water lily pond, I chose to portray the peace and stillness that a lily pond exudes.  A place of peace for me.  In the process of being OK with who we are, we become increasingly accepting of those around us.”
Cartoon Art Gallery

Posing in front of beautiful artwork by Gweneth Rasquinha, who remembers me from ten years ago!


Minisha Bhardwaj, who has transitioned from charcoal to a world of colour, has poignant words to share about her choice of colour for both her paintings The Celebrations 1 and 2 She says: “I have purposefully used blues, reds and gold so that I could capture the plethora of emotions of a woman. In the Celebrations, I tried crafting the character in various mystical emotions – from passion, rage, to tranquility and trust, success and triumph.” Minisha Bhardwaj is also a poet. See more of her work here on Facebook.

Minisha Bhardwaj with Celebrations 1

Minisha Bhardwaj with Celebrations 1. Photo © Minisha


Minisha Bhardwaj with Celebrations 2

Minisha Bhardwaj with Celebrations 2. Photo © Minisha


As for me, I still remember the 1st edition of ‘Against the Tides’ held at Dubai Festival City Centre in 2010, where around 5 artists took part including Pari Sagar and Nupur Ahuja. Both these artists’ works were on display at the 6th edition of the art exhibition.
Artworks by talented artists living around the globe

Artworks by talented artists living around the globe – Nupur Ahuja, Mrinmay Sebastian and Ria Sharma. Photo © w2w events


Against the Tides Art Exhibition

Works by Minisha Bhardwaj (lower level) and Elizabeth Bruce


Karla Koehler

German based Artist Karla Koehler and company stand in front of artwork by Sree Lakshmi

For me, ‘Against the Tides 2016’ has been a thrilling opportunity to showcase my artwork, the 2nd exhibition where I’ve only showcased my art (the first one being a Taiwan Themed Exhibition that took place at the Space, Abu Dhabi last year).  Beside my design products, such as cufflinks and sketchbooks (which are sold online at my Little Majlis Shop), my artwork has taken a life of its own, bringing me joy as I expand on the various techniques that I can play with on canvas.
There is a story that goes with the artworks I created for this art exhibition, ie. how I got round to painting human silhouettes when I usually just paint in abstract. This is a story I shall reserve for the next blog post.  All I can say is that I have found my metier (and my bliss) in resin and heavily textured upcycled artworks where I can meld as many art and craft techniques as I please. In these two particular artworks, I have used motifs that I wire-crocheted, I created the resin beads and polymer clay beads, I upcycled many materials (not excluded old business cards of mine, outer onion skins, Dubai sand).
Jan D'Sa resin art

My two pieces of art are on the lower level of this panel


Jan D'Sa resin art

I have had great pleasure in creating these artworks, though it was quite a task at times

Solidarity is the underlying theme for my artworks at this exhibition, and the artworks are part of the ‘Her Universe’ series.   In fact, one of the important lessons I’m learning about life is that no woman is an island. When women support each other as opposed to compete with each other, the world becomes their oyster as they explore the possibilities of collaborating, supporting, mentoring and encouraging each other towards their goals.


Raising the Tide 2016 runs till Thursday, 8 September. Please contact me if you are interested in learning more about my artwork.
Weekdays timings: 9:00am till 6:00pm (Closed on Friday)

Venue: The Cartoon Art Gallery, Al Quoz

Entry: FREE

Against the Tides information:

w2w events website:

Cartoon Art Gallery website: