ART BLOG Details

From Economics to Art: The Inspiring Journey of Zahra Ghulam Hussain


Photo credit: Zahra Ghulam Hussain

In the vibrant corridors of World Art Dubai 2024, where creativity and culture converge, artists from around the globe come to showcase their extraordinary talents. Among them is Zahra Ghulam Hussain, a former banker turned full-time artist whose journey is as captivating as her artwork.

An Unconventional Path to Art

Zahra's artistic voyage began far from the galleries and canvases of the art world. Born and raised in Bombay, she pursued undergraduate studies in economics in the UK and embarked on a successful four-year career in banking in London. Despite her professional success, Zahra felt a persistent pull towards the creative arts, a passion kindled by her mother, also an artist. This influence gradually steered her away from the financial world and towards the art studio.

Upon moving to Dubai after marrying, what began as a hobby—doodling in her spare time—evolved into a serious pursuit. The desire to create grew stronger each day until she decided to resign from banking and dedicate herself fully to art.

Artistic Inspirations and Style

Zahra's artwork is intricately detailed, drawing significant inspiration from Islamic architecture and the ornate styles found in various cultures. Her pieces often incorporate elements from Rajasthani and Islamic patterns, reflecting the rich heritage of these traditions.

Her initial artistic explorations were influenced by Ian McArthur, known for his detailed fantastical portraits, and Jess Jason Safi, who specializes in contemporary Persian carpet designs on concrete. These influences can be seen in her own creations, where fantasy meets precision.

World Art Dubai: A Catalyst for Career and Creativity

Photo credit: Zahra Ghulam Hussain

World Art Dubai has played a crucial role in Zahra's art career, serving not just as a platform for exhibition but also as a catalyst for her professional development. Her first exhibition in 2017 marked a new chapter, allowing her to transition from a novice to a recognized artist. Despite the daunting prospect of presenting her work solo, the positive reception and validation from art curators bolstered her confidence.

Over the years, World Art Dubai has become more than just an exhibition space; it has been a venue for growth, networking, and affirmation of Zahra's artistic identity. Each year, she meets returning clients and gains new admirers, extending her reach beyond Dubai to international art scenes in cities like Singapore, Paris, and Portugal.

The 2024 Collection at World Art Dubai

For the upcoming 2024 edition of World Art Dubai, Zahra plans to introduce a new collection that moves away from her popular lions to explore new themes and techniques. This collection will remain rooted in the intricate patterns of temples, mosques, and palaces but will be infused with contemporary and abstract elements. This approach aims to present a fresh perspective while staying true to her artistic roots, showcasing her evolution from detailed Islamic and Rajasthani patterns to broader, more abstract expressions.

Embracing Artistic Evolution

Zahra's journey and her upcoming showcase at World Art Dubai 2024 serve as a profound reminder of the transformative power of art. Her story encourages emerging artists to pursue their passions relentlessly and to remain open to new experiences and influences. As World Art Dubai continues to serve as a pivotal platform for artists worldwide, Zahra Ghulam Hussain's evolving legacy is an inspiration for all who seek to leave a lasting impact on the art world.

Zahra Ghulam Hussain's story powerfully illustrates the transformative effect of pursuing one's passion and highlights the significant role that venues like World Art Dubai play in nurturing artists' careers across the globe. Her transition from a career in banking to achieving acclaim in the art world shows that with determination and creative spirit, individuals can not only create meaningful art but also sculpt a life that genuinely embodies their passions and dreams.

*This interview was originally broadcasted as a podcast by UAE-based online gallery Artezaar. Listen to it and other World Art Dubai podcasts here **link to*