Safa Peshimam’s artwork titled Breath.
Muhammad Yusuf, Features Writer
Safa Peshimam, whose pen name is Kalopsia Wiz, is an Indian artist and poet residing in Dubai. A graduate of Heriot-Watt University, Dubai, she has a Masters in International Business Management and Marketing, with Honors. Her creativity includes digital work, photography and fashion; she is a winner of multiple awards. “As an artist,” she says, “I am self-taught. I aspire to be successful and globally recognised one day.” She is well on her way to achieving that: she was recently honoured with the UAE Achievers Award for Best Artist and Poet, 2023, and she also won the Global Pride Award for her artwork. She donated it to the Telavi Historical Museum, Georgia, this year. The museum is a monument of cultural heritage and is the only surviving royal palace in Georgia.
She was conferred the prestigious International Rabindranath Tagore Literature Award in 2022 for her book of poems ‘Elegy’. It was published in 2020 and is on emotions such as grief, sorrow, love and happiness. “It is based on everyday feelings, something individuals can relate to,” says Peshimam. As an invitee to the UAE’s biggest live painting event at INDEX, World Trade Center, she painted the emirate of Sharjah. Last year, she was also invited for a solo live painting celebration at Premium Expo Jewelry by Artoze and Magzoid at Festival City Arena. “Art, according to me, is an emotion,” she says. “It is a feeling. It is something that cannot be described even if you have a million words! Art is all about creating what you feel, what you think but cannot speak; hence one has to pour it out. Art is also an escape from reality: it is where you can be as creative as possible, fashioning something unreal, something you wish to be, a place you want to explore, or a feeling you want to fall into.” Safa Peshimam paints her words on Gulf Today’s canvas
Safa Peshimam is an artist and poet based in Dubai.
You have an academic background in management and marketing. Is it compatible with art making?
An academic background in management and marketing can be compatible with art, as it provides valuable skills for self-promotion, business management, networking, collaboration and navigating the art industry.
You are a self-taught artist. What are the lessons you taught yourself to be an artist?
As a self-taught artist, my journey has been a continuous process of exploration, experimentation and growth. Through countless hours of practice and learning, I’ve explored various kinds of techniques, colour combinations and art styles, in order to shape my artworks.
Sometimes your art pieces show high detail while at other times, they are panoramic. Shouldn’t you stick to one style?
Art style is a vast area to choose just one approach. I consider myself a freestyle artist because of my love for every kind of work. I find inspiration in absolutely everything and anything. Hence I have a range of styles and do not confine myself to just one of them. Each artistic style allows me to express different emotions and thoughts and enables me to connect with diverse audiences. This not only allows me to explore, but also to keep learning. Trying new styles challenges me to learn and grow as an artist. Each style has its own technical and creative demands. They foster a continuous learning process that enriches my overall artistic skill set.
You say your art is from life and at the same time, it is an escape. How can it be both?
My art is a fusion of reality and imagination. When I say art is “from life”, I refer to the experiences, observations and emotions that allow me to create art. On the other hand, when I speak of art as an “escape”, it literally means to escape from reality. It is a place where nothing is impossible. It allows me to reimagine and transform my thoughts into something which would seem absurd in the real world. The duality is what makes art so profound. It enables me to capture the essence of life, while also offering a doorway to alternative realms of existence. By blending the tangible and intangible, my art becomes a bridge between reality and imagination, inviting viewers to experience a unique journey that resonates with both the familiar and the fantastical.
Safa Peshimam’s composition titled Cynefin.
Does your poetry influence your art? If so, how?
Absolutely! My poetry dives deep into emotions such as grief, sorrow, love, happiness and friendship. I take these vibes and channel them into my art.
Who or what is your Muse as a poet?
As a poet, my Muse is found in emotions — particularly the intricate blend of love, friendship, grief and sorrow that surrounds our daily lives. These feelings are like the colours on a canvas: they drive me to create stories that capture their beauty and complexity. Just as how we experience these emotions in our lives, I try to mirror them in my writing, reflecting different feelings.
Which is the more prominent side of your creative self – poet or artist? Or do they occupy equal space?
I don’t set a fixed way to divide my time between these two activities, nor do I make plans beforehand. I simply follow what sparks my creativity at a particular moment and then act on it. At times, I might be inclined to express myself through colours on canvas, while on other occasions, I might be drawn to expressing my thoughts with a pen.