Shatha Altowai

Edinburgh Printmakers / Residency, 1 Mar 2023

Shatha Altowai is award-winning Yemeni visual artist based in Edinburgh. She is a self-taught artist who started her art journey in 2014 amidst the ongoing civil war in Yemen; much of her work reflects the aspects of life in her society, particularly women's issues and the suffering caused by the conflict.


We welcomed Shatha to Edinburgh Printmakers at the beginning of February, after she had already completed a 6-day course in Etching under the tutorship of Jessica Crisp. Etching was her main focus in the studio, coming in nearly every day to develop her work and continue learning about the ins and outs of the entire process. Working alongside the technicians initially, she showed that she had real drive and determination and kept producing beautiful, technically difficult work involving hard/soft ground and aquatint.


The final etchings that Shatha produced here at Edinburgh Printmakers are powerful images to behold. They have a very important story to tell, using mark making to create a memorial for the lives of children lost to war in Yemen. Her colour choice of Permanent Red Intaglio Ink was intended to grab attention by making a bold statement with a bright, strong color about the issue she is highlighting.


Residency dates: 31st January to 1st March 2023


Shatha Altowai awards-winning Yemeni visual artist based in Edinburgh. She has presented her work at several art galleries in Yemen and beyond


She 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. After earning her degree, Shatha held several administrative and technical positions in the Yemeni private sector.


 In 2018, she left those positions 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 currently artist in residence at Art27scotland, where she works to deliver socially engaged art projects in the Southside of Edinburgh.


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