UAE: How a candle art initiative is giving way to body positivity
Stop, stare and smell. Candles are no longer just vessels of aroma, they can promote inclusivity and diversity too
Early on, I learnt that there’s an element of art in most things around us. We just need to observe closely. So, I’d stop to admire the carvings on faucets, stare at the characters painted on the back of trucks, and, of course, ogle at the art on the walls. No wonder, when I came across the candles by Winnow, I took a moment to stop, stare and smell. The artisanal soy candles by this Dubai-based home-grown brand are vegan, eco-friendly and cruelty-free, with scents that provide a natural aroma with a long-lasting burn time. But that’s not what caught my attention. It was the ‘shapes’ that got me intrigued. The candles celebrate female and male forms of all shapes and sizes with inclusive body silhouette candles.
In the era of social media obsessed-lives, it is crucial to speak about body positivity and the brand’s spokesperson added: “Promoting realistic body-positive figures in a diverse assortment of colours and sizes is important because inclusivity is one of our key principals.” I learn how these candles are inspired by the Romanesque style David’s Head and Venus statues. Now, that’s an interesting way of bringing the classic elements to décor. As I observe the mannequin-like candles, comfortably depicting varied sizes, I admire the hand-work, and wonder if they’re so good to look at, how do I possibly burn them? After all, candles are a form of art in their own right, and have gone beyond being just vessels of aroma. The artist confessed that with the amount of craftsmanship that goes into the creations, it’s humbling that people purchase candles with no intention for burning them.
It is interesting to note the hues of the candles as well, which includes light-to-dark skin tones. So is there also an attempt to address colourism via candle art? The artists assert, “There is no space for colourism or any form of discrimination in this world. We believe people should not be separated by colour, race, religion or gender — we choose to celebrate diversity with our artisanal creations by creating a space in someone’s home for inclusivity.”
Whilst the brand offers candles in other shapes, including bubbles and geometric shapes, I am bringing home one that serves as a conversation starter and fills up the room with positive thoughts and exotic aromas, including lavender, mandarin orange, rosemary and more. Well, there’s a spark of equality lighting up then. And these, as I learn, come with a burn time of over 16 hours.