How Artist Shayema Rahim Used Art to Remain Connected to People

Alex Gonzalez
3 min readJul 21, 2021
Shayema Rahim’s art encompasses several Egyptian and Asian techniques | Image courtesy of Shayema Rahim

The art that has emerged following the COVID-19 pandemic has been nothing short of thought-provoking. Although galleries, museums and showcases were shut down for much of the past year, artists still continued to express themselves through their work. Dallas-based artist Shayema Rahim took strict approaches to quarantine, and although the isolation was depressing to her, she channeled those emotions and let them reflect into her artwork.

Like all of us, the time spent alone forced Rahim to reevaluate her priorities and change her perspective on what she finds important. To her, time is the most important thing.

“We tend to take life for granted,” says Rahim. “During COVID, we lost people. We had all these unexpected deaths of people my age and younger people. This taught me that what is really important, which is making memories with people; my dear ones, my friends, my family. Cherishing that time is what really matters.”

Rahim has typically utilized batik and encaustic art techniques, and during quarantine, she found herself painting more human figures. She says painting images of people helped her feel more connected to them, due to the fact that she opted to remain isolated from public settings.

Last fall, Rahim went to her home country of Bangladesh to visit her mother after she had a heart attack. During her visit, most of the country was shut down, allowing Rahim to distance herself from distractions and feel closer with her mother.

“There is no replacement for a mom’s love,” Rahim says. “And the only tie I have with Bangladesh is my mom, and there is no other tie for me.”

‘The Forever Tie,’ a Mother’s Day-inspired painting by Shayema Rahim

As a child, Rahim recalls her mother’s boundless support for her artistic ambitions. Her artistic gene has continued throughout her bloodline, particularly within her teenage son, who launched a fashion line last year.

Arbaaz, her son, launched The World Is Yours with the goal to raise awareness for rapidly increasing suicide rates among teenagers. He also intends to raise funds for Suicide and Crisis Center of North Texas.

Alex Gonzalez

UNT Alumnus | 26 | Lover of music, food, baseball, dogs and world cultures | Curator of incredibly dope playlists