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The Deeper South

Five Muslim women in the southern provinces are creating artwork with real heart

Artist Heedayah Mahavi, right, presents her impressions of Muslim women in her family, with fellow artist Nuriya Waji. Mahavi's art is an amalgamation of a number of natural materials, including wood, straw, tree bark, sandstone, glass and more. As most of these materials originate from living organisms, preserving such art becomes problematic. Getting the right balance to produce the colour and texture were some of the most challenging aspects of her work.

In the contemporary art created by Muslim women from Thailand's restive southern provinces of Narathiwat, Yala and Pattani, there is a depth that reaches out and speaks to the heart.

The five in question are Kufosiyah Nibuesa, Nuriya Waji, Heedayah Mahavi and Arichama Pakapet, along with Keeta Isran, their mentor and former art professor at Songkla University, Pattani. The artists have collaborated on staging their debut exhibition in the capital titled "Muslimah" (Muslim Woman), to be held at the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre (BACC) from today until Aug 27.

Fellow Songkla University Professor Nuratna Hawae, who was not able to make it for the exhibition, sent exhibits offering a taste of the outdoors in southern Thailand.

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