Heart Knows Way Run
“Your Heart Knows The Way. Run in That Direction”
   Reading 3 min

Until April 30, 2023, the Fann À Porter gallery in Dubai is displaying the artworks of Rima Moukahal. In her solo show titled “Your Heart Knows The Way. Run in That Direction”, the Lebanese artist explores the emotional and spiritual aspects of the heart. 

Using various mediums such as geotextile fabric, tissue papers on raw canvas, and paint, Moukahal visually represents the function of the heart in responding to our feelings. The textures and stitching featured in her artworks symbolise the heaviness of different emotions one experiences. 

Rima Moukahal, I am Not I, 2022. Diptych. Mixed media and acrylic on canvas. 80 x 68 cm each.

Moukahal’s work is based on the idea that the heart has its own nervous system and its own memory. This can be seen in the Takotsubo Heart Syndrome, which describes the shape of the heart’s muscle when in grief, and in the use of patches to heal damaged hearts.

Exploring how we use words and adjectives to express our feelings together with the word “heart”, the artist draws on the Holy Quran (it mentions the word “Heart” 132 times) and cultural references and language. She also uses Atlas of the Heart written by Brene Brown, an American professor, lecturer, and author. In the book, Brown explores eighty-seven of the emotions and experiences which define what it means to be human. The author believes that experiencing emotion is complex, and most people can’t express this complexity. If one can’t talk properly about what they experience, they can’t easily make sense of it or share it with others. This can cause trouble for our mental and even physical health.

Rima Moukahal, Vivere, 2022. Tissue paper and acrylic on canvas. 45 x 40 cm.

Through her exhibited artworks, Moukahal conveys this idea: she aims to inspire the viewers to engage in a new conversation with their hearts, encouraging them to dive into the depths of their emotions, explore them, and thus connect with their inner selves.

About the artist

Rima Moukahal is a self-taught artist residing in Dubai, UAE, who’s been interested in art since she was a child. In 1975, while studying at the Italian Girls’ School in Beirut, she was awarded a trip to Rome, Italy, to study drawing, but due to the Lebanese civil war, she couldn’t go there. After having built a successful corporate career, in 2018 Moukahal went back to study art. She took private courses in drawing and painting; her mentors were prominent Arab artists in Cairo, Beirut, and Dubai. Today, Moukahal is a full-time member of Tashkeel.

Rima Moukahal, Study no3, 2023. Texture and acrylic on canvas.

Her artistic practice includes using acrylic, overlay with stucco and other materials, collages, and stitching. Moukahal is mostly inspired by emotions. Through her art which can be classified as Abstract Expressionism, Moukahal reflects her personal emotional and psychological reactions to collective human experiences. To create her artworks, she uses colours, gestures, layers and movements.

About the venue

Fann À Porter was founded in 2006 by Ghada Kunash, an architect, interior designer, art and antiques collector and dealer. It is a contemporary art gallery at The Workshop Dubai, an multidisciplinary community space which consists of an art gallery, a store, design studio, and a cafe. The gallery represents both emerging international and regional artists and helps the contemporary art scene develop by hosting exhibitions, non-profit events, auctions, and offering an active community program.

To learn more about the exhibition, please visit its official web page.

You might be also interested in visiting the exhibition Artist’s Rooms: Daniele Genadry.