“Scream” and “Pinned or Pinned”, emerged out of a process of experimenting and understanding the treatment of materials, anthropomorphically. My previous presentation was a series of oil paintings, that stood upright on the floor, in a dark room, with spot light on them. While studying Roni Horn’s Doubt by Water, the concept of creating flicker between a three-dimensional experience with two dimensional pieces, prompted me to explore the idea of portable paintings and my ensuing aim was that, as viewers walk between and around the pieces, they become part of the whole.
A meeting with Esther Windsor, my tutor at the time, helped me to understand that maybe I was asking too much of the paintings and, exploring the same ideas which I was working on, with sculptural approach is the way forward.
I attended Sara Barker’s exhibition in 2016 at Ikon, and her use of materials really inspired me. Later on, I researched about her Baltic Project, which was a collaboration with Ryder Architecture in 2014, that gave me more understanding about the meeting of materials. I was greatly inspired; however, I was struggling to open up to the idea of experimenting with sculptural forms and keeping the painterly feel at the same time.
Angela de le Cruz’s treatment of canvas, Karla Blacks’ artistic practice on exploration into the abstract qualities of materials and form, and Neil Rock’s sense of materiality were great suggestions to push my practice.
After another meeting with Steve Payne ( a great human and great mentor), I decided to explore the possibilities of executing the contrast of the materials, as a metaphor, in retrospective of the unpleasant and uncomfortable personal relationship I had in past. The canvas I have used in both my pieces are washed by colours that has significance to a specific memory. The greens are the colours of the bird who, eventually flew to freedom and the reds are the traditional cultural colours for bridal attire in Pakistan and most south asian cultures.
The mistreated canvas clenched together, held down, stepped on, with lack of prestige and, rigidness and inflexibility of the wooden box resonates with the idea of having dysfunctional and weak human connection. The process is to create a kind of monogram of two objects being uncomfortable by their very connection. The box size mimics the original size of the bird's cage that he was kept in and the red canvas is an approximate length of the veil of the bridal attire with the safety pins that are traditionally used to set the veil onto the bride’s body, so it doesn’t move. The canvas cloth coming out of the Cage Box are ripped and broken pieces of my previous paintings that were kept away from me for long time to send a message that 'we can'. Later on, they were send over and given back to me. However, the significance of their existence meant nothing and a simple gesture of ripping them apart manifested the non-existential meaning of the people who kept them and the paintings themselves.