Organized by FOMMA Trust (Foundation for Museum of Modern Art) in collaboration with KeH (Karwan-e- Hayat), Therapy Through Art was an exhibition featuring wonderful artworks created by patients undergoing rehabilitation at KeH. The exhibition aimed not only to create awareness about mental illnesses but also emphasized that timely treatment of such patients can help them regain their status as productive and creative individuals in the society.
At first glance, as one walks into the gallery, it seems like a beautiful scenery of nature: plants, flowers, birds, animals, rivers, mountains created using various perspectives, mediums and techniques. Shades of green are noticeably prevalent in most of the artworks; considering that the works have been produced by individuals going through rehab, the dominance of green symbolizes rejuvenation of their minds and a fresh start for them, away from the horrors of the suffering they have gone through.
The artworks are not limited to paints; tapestries, embroidered flowers, framed quilt works, pencil sketches, oil pastels and much more. It is evident that the patients have been taught well, and to teach mentally unstable patients to express themselves so beautifully is commendable and an art in itself.
The works might seem ordinary at first but a closer look at each one of them is sure to bring out a deeper meaning. In fact, work no. 31 seems to be the work of a purely genius mind: a bridge with deserted land on its left and flowing water on its right, leading to a tree which is also divided into two parts, the left one with bare branches and the right side covered with beautiful green leaves, possibly depicting a transition from a barren, distressed mind to an effective, blossoming one.
Many of the works feature suns, possibly symbolizing the hope of a new day, a new tomorrow; many feature water, depicting life which, in all its glory, refuses to stop flowing and keeps going on; many feature trees, symbolic of strength, growth, kindness, and the ability to be fruitful; some feature bridges, perhaps to say that there’s always a way out and forward, and nothing is the end as long as you keep trying. All the birds and animals featured seem to be happy, content, and proud, reflecting the positive views held by the artists of themselves.
Therapy Through Art takes one on a tour of the beautiful, recovering minds of KeH’s patients in rehab. . There is a lot to see, admire, and learn from the show; especially in a society where mental illness is considered taboo and written off as madness straight away, this exhibition demystifies these myths, proves how useful art can be and unveils the immense amount of potential hidden in the patients— waiting to come out in the most wonderful of forms, if given a fair chance and proper training.