Shatha Altowai : Shatha Altowai is part of the Edinburgh Southside Collective

Latest News

August 2022

Shatha’s work is part of exhibition in the Art27scotland’s new base: workshop in West Crosscauseway, Newington, Southside Edinburgh

First Hand: Women Artists Exhibition. Drop-in Weekdays during the Fringe. 

This exhibition combines the work of 4 award-winning international artists who have had residencies at Art27.  

Maryam Yahia Mohamed’s sculptural works evokes the vibrant and distinctive cultural heritage of Sudanese and North African identity.

Laleh Sherkat, Iranian street and documentary photographer, portrays the early days of the Iran/Iraq war as seen through her eyes as a young woman witnessing huge societal change.

Marta Adamowicz, rediscovers her roots through the world of Slavic mythology and explores how art can be a tool of social change.

Shatha Altowai, paintings movingly represents the emotional world of women surviving under threat in Yemen throughout the war.


Exhibition text 

Shatha Altowai is a Yemeni artist based in Edinburgh, UK. She has presented at several art galleries in Yemen and beyond.

Shatha graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Information Technology with Honours from the University of Utara Malaysia (2014) in Sana’a, the capital of Yemen. In 2018, she left the technical position in the Yemeni private sector and decided to fully engage in her passion for art.

Much of Shatha’s work reflects aspects of life in her society and the suffering caused by the ongoing civil war in Yemen. Through her figurative, cubist, and abstract paintings, Shatha seeks to shed light on issues such as Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), women, coexistence, and families in Yemen.

Shatha is an IIE-Artist Protection Fund (APF) Fellow in residence at the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities (IASH) at the University of Edinburgh. In July 2021 she won the John Byrne’s award.

The works of canvas depict female figures with their faces covered with flowers alluding to the reality of women’s existence in Yemen:
Some families put a sticker on their daughters’ pictures in official documents so the men who are not family members cannot recognise them. (…)

A man can show his identity whenever he likes but a woman in many families must hide her identity from a certain age.

Displacement Paintings

The smaller paintings were brought by the artist from Yemen. Packed in the suitcase, the portable exhibition was transported to Scotland and is part of the artist’s personal story of displacement and looking for a safe shelter. Now framed and presented in the gallery setting they bear witness to Shatha’s journey.