My recent work focuses on social injustices, specifically inflicted upon women, all over the globe.
I feel like women, throughout the centuries, have bore the brunt of the sinister and barbaric side of human civilization. It was she who was buried alive at birth. It was she who was named a witch and burned at the stake. It is she who is still killed for ‘honor’ of the beasts. The flame of savagery against her is still alive.
While working as a volunteer in a shelter for women in Michigan, I realized that domestic violence is not specific to a culture or country. All cultures, Eastern or Western, modern or backward, find ways to inflict violence upon women, thus making it a universal phenomenon. Historically, women have endured violence without uttering a word of discontent in fear of retribution and shame in society.
sought inspiration from real stories. My art work is not based on fiction or imagination. I am surrounded by horrific stories of brutality committed every day, especially with women. It’s in the newspaper I read, it’s on the Television I watch, and it’s very much there when I socialize with people every day. As an artist, I don’t have to look far for inspiration. It is with me.
Today, up to 70 per cent of women experience violence in their life time. Yes! Seventy per cent is an amazingly huge number. Domestic violence, Marital/partner Rape, stranger Rape, and child marriage are a few examples among it. Rape within marriage is one of the most prevalent yet the most under reported form of violence against women. This crime is committed within the secured walls of home not only harming the victim physically, but leaving her with no honor and dignity.
Through my art, I am giving voice to the issues which our society prefers to discuss in hushed tones, if at all.
The effort of rewriting and retelling the story is an important part of my art work. These stories are incorporated as inscribed text on to fabric. In my art, I have used Urdu script for East and English script represents the Western society. The rich Urdu text has the rhythmic movement that flows from right to left blended with the opposite movement of English script. Transcribing each letter carefully on to fabric is meticulous and time-consuming work. This work entails a spiritual quality, almost like a prayer. The spiral is a symbol of infinity. The addition of stitched spiral symbolizes infinite painful memories. Stitching gives a dense texture to the piece. This sense of ambiguity between texts, patterns and spirituality is one of the hallmarks of Islamic art. This spiritual form of art has greatly influenced my art work.
Islam- Empire of Faith, http://www.pbs.org/empires/islam/cultureart.html
FREELANCE ARTIST 2004 to present
Recent art themes: Violence against women
TEXTILE DESIGNER Jan 1995 to Sept 1997
Gul Ahmed Textiles, Pakistan
Produced 2D repeat designs for the production of printed fabric. Produced designs for interiors, and maintained up-to-date knowledge of season’s fashion and trends. Experimented with color, fabric, and texture producing new design concepts. Part of a creative design team, and work under strict deadlines.
GRAPHIC DESIGNER Feb 1991 to July 1994
Channel 7 Communications, Pakistan
Help set up the Art studio. Work with the clients to achieve the end product. Present idea to the client. Occasionally worked with the printers, developers, and other technicians to get the final design.
May 1st to May 9th 2010- Roots, Regions and Reasons: Third annual South Asian American Art Festival – juried, Santa Monica Art Studio, Santa Monica, CA
Sep 4th to Oct 10th 2009- Cultural Memory: Transdiasporic Art practices –juried, Woman Made Gallery, Chicago, IL
July 31st to Aug 27th 2009- Annual Member’s show - juried, Woman Made Gallery, Chicago, IL
Feb 5th to 17th 2009- A Festival of Spiritual Arts: Celebration of the Arts – juried, Grand Rapids, MI
July 21st- 25th 06- Celebration! –juried, Hand weavers guild of America, Convergence 2006, Grand Rapids, MI
March 04- Woman in the veil: Celebrating Revolutionary Women of the past and Present – Cabaret, Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN
Dec 05 - Infinite Memories, Surface Design Thesis show, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA
1992- Blocked, Solo Block Printing Show, O.P.F College, Islamabad, Pakistan
1992 - Junk, Textile Thesis Show, National College of Arts, Lahore, Pakistan
BFA, Textile Design, 1992 - National College of Arts, Lahore, Pakistan
MFA, Surface Design, 2005 - Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA