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By Abrar Quazi The painting addresses the elements of nature: fire, water, earth, and air and how they work together in unison to create the world we live in and give us the elements needed for us to survive. Nature can be considered to have its own characteristics as if it were a being with emotions and personality, and these elements can be seen as some of the personality traits of nature. Although these elements on their own can be pretty chaotic, they all have their own place on earth and all work together in harmony to sustain life and create tranquility. Initially, it was difficult to cope through the pandemic as it felt like the whole world was flipped on its head and we were all left to protect ourselves and our family, and we were all very confused and scared as a whole. It could be hard to focus on your interests and hobbies during this time as everything was initially very hectic at the beginning however I chose to prioritize my mental health as I began getting more used to the pandemic. I made sure to organize time for me to focus on making more pieces of art, learn about new topics that I am interested in, and take care of my body through exercise and meditation. Although it was hard to commit to exercising and meditating every day, it slowly became a routine that I was comfortable with. Additionally, socializing with family and friends in a safe manner also helped me feel relaxed and loved which made surviving the pandemic much easier.
Peak Inside Out
By Mahnoor Cheema The theme for this piece was identity and boundaries. I wanted to make this piece a twist on “outside looking in” but instead more of inside looking out. The viewer is currently inside the room which is supposed to represent my current state, and the view outside is what I wish to be portrayed as. The boundary separating both of these spaces is the window. This piece was also inspired by the pandemic as we are all currently staying at home, when we wish to be outside.
An Open Book
By Mariam Arif I painted this painting with the pandemic in mind and how the two years that all of us had spent in Covid-19 lockdowns are a chapter of our lives most of us will probably never forget. I specifically drew the branches with flowers to represent the good aspects of this chapter, like discovering a new hobby, spending more time with family and being thankful for everything we had during the pandemic.
Identities We Hold
By Salmina Sabah In this painting, I’ve portrayed self-identity via symbols. I used calligraphic writing to demonstrate my religious identity which reads "Almighty" in Arabic to represent my religion, Islam. The handprint on the painting refers to my ethnicity and how proud I am to be a South-Asian, more specifically, a Bangladeshi woman. I’ve also portrayed myself in the Polaroid image by showing that I love to paint. I wanted to capture a moment where I was content and art allows me to be who I am without fear of judgment. It is very important for me to embrace and honor my culture and identity especially in this time and age where traditions are often forgotten. Therefore, I’ve painted this canvas to remind myself of what defines and represents me as a person.
Celebrate and Playful
By Zeni Shariff The pandemic was affecting many of us it was and perhaps will be part of our lives. Yet, it is not all of our lives. We can free ourselves through art to visualize a fun filled life where we can come and go as we please while we learn to manage our new world.
Head in the Clouds
By Isha Cheema This piece is all about finding my identity and setting boundaries. I wanted to bring a new meaning to the phrase ‘head in the clouds’ which is meant to portray me as constantly thinking creatively about different aspects of my life — whether its art related or more technical. I included things around the drawing of the girl as a representation of my many different passions including nature, games, programming, science, and space!
By Mahnoor Cheema The theme for this piece was self care. I based this piece off of a photograph I took while walking around in downtown Toronto. One of the main things I do for self care is taking walks and exercising. Walking around, purchasing niche items in the smaller shops and boutiques, and grabbing coffee along the way is one of the methods I use to destress after a long week of work!
By Subha Manwar During the pandemic, I’ve been on a journey of self-actualization and identifying who I am as a person. In this artwork, I have utilized various shapes, colors, and metaphors to portray personal relations, dreams, and aspirations, alongside my personality. With all of these factors in mind, I’ve created this piece to truly be able to see what sets me apart from others and the unique characteristics that make me who I am.
By Isha Cheema There has been a lot of self-growth while being so isolated in the pandemic, and one thing that I have definitely learned to appreciate more is nature. Walking was one of the only activities I could do that was still safe, but let me go outside to have a change in space so it became an important part of my daily routine. Through my art, I wanted to portray the vastness of nature and how big our world is once we take a moment to step out!
By Rochelle Mascoe Selfcare to me means, unplugging and unwinding with nature. This piece speaks to one of my favourite self care activities, getting outdoors. Disconnecting from technology during this time is important. You are able to completely enjoy the beauty of nature without distractions.
By Iman Cheema During the pandemic, I discovered how much I value the peacefulness that nature provides. To escape isolation associated with the pandemic, my family and I like to spend time together by going on hikes. I made this painting because it reminds me of the breathtaking views that I see during these nature walks. Being outside allows me to appreciate nature, and diverts my focus away from school and other worries.
By Subha Manwar This painting demonstrates how I practice self-care! Flowers are some elements that have a soothing effect on my mental well-being. Whether it be their appearance or scent, I’ve always found nature, or flowers in particular, to be healing and calming.
Me and My Plant Friends
By Salmina Sabah My pandemic pick-me-up has been taking care of plants. It's been nice to have these little life forms that remind me to water them and take a break from my desk work, every now and then. When I water my plants, I am reminded to hydrate myself too!
A Dark Night
By Mariam Arif I painted this painting to reflect how I felt many were feeling during the lockdowns and how much resilience people had to display because of the pandemic. The dark colours represent how gloomy a lot of the days were during lockdown and the stars represent all the hope and goodness around us. I chose a campsite in particular because I feel like it truly represents this thought perfectly.
Find My Musical Identity
By Iman Cheema I began playing the guitar when I was nine years old. Since then, I’ve spent countless hours self-learning my favorite songs from Youtube tutorials and high school courses. I created this piece because the guitar is a significant part of my life and allows me to express myself while also bringing out my inner creativity. Especially during the pandemic, the guitar has become a part of my identity and has provided me with sweet experiences, such as performing in front of hundreds of people, that I would not have had otherwise.
A Natures Walk
By Aaishah Khawaja This painting was inspired by the iFEED self-care and goal setting workshop. From the workshop, I found a form of self-care is taking time for yourself. I decided to paint nature scenery because by going on long walks on trails and other scenic places I can clear my mind.
A Glimpse of Me
By Silma Manwar In this painting, I’ve portrayed self-identity via symbols. I used calligraphic writing to demonstrate my religious identity which reads "Almighty" in Arabic to represent my religion, Islam. The handprint on the painting refers to my ethnicity and how proud I am to be a South-Asian, more specifically, a Bangladeshi woman. I’ve also portrayed myself in the Polaroid image by showing that I love to paint. I wanted to capture a moment where I was content and art allows me to be who I am without fear of judgment. It is very important for me to embrace and honor my culture and identity especially in this time and age where traditions are often forgotten. Therefore, I’ve painted this canvas to remind myself of what defines and represents me as a person.
Looking For My Path
By Azaan Cheema Every symbol inside the tree represents one thing about me. For example, the Pakistani flag symbolizes that I am Pakistani, and the paintbrush symbol symbolizes my love for painting. I have been painting since childhood and I improved my painting skills more as I practiced. I created this piece because, over quarantine, I was able to self-reflect on myself, and I realized how grateful I am for everything. I’m grateful for my parents, friends, and community, and they did a great job setting a positive impact on me.
Peace, Tranquility and Growth
By Zeni Shariff My artist name is "RoshanAmi" in dedication to both my late parents. This was done in acrylic paints and it is my own interpretation of what I would like to have in the Universe during the pandemic. There were a lot of unknowns at the time re: vaccines, etc. I wish to create an image that would transport to that space where there was growth, tranquility and peace.
A Cactus Never Gives Up
By Zeni Shariff I thought of the cactus plants in the desert. They go through extreme temperatures - very hot during the day and cold during the night. Yet their flowers bloom and By Zeni Shariff they go with the flow of the environment, never giving up and being happy at what their lot is.
Along the shores of the Indian Ocean
By Zeni Shariff During the pandemic, I longed to be near the ocean. I grew up in a city called Dar es Salaam, in Tanzania which is a coastal city on the shores of the Indian Ocean. It is my most favourite place in the whole world. The shores of the Indian Ocean bring me new hopes and energy regardless of how tough the situation(s) is/are. This painting is from my memory of the shores of the Indian Ocean.
Throughout the pandemic, I did not get to do much since we were quarantined for quite a long time. There were days at home where I did not know what I wanted to do, and there were days when my mental health would not be doing well. However, I started implementing many different self-care strategies that I love to do. I love reading my favourite books and going outside for a walk. For me, these two hobbies give me peace of mind and help me get away from anything that overwhelms me, such as schoolwork.