Artist Nazia Ejaz exhibits her work in Karachi
Studied at the National College of Arts in Lahore and the SLADE School of Fine Art in London, now living in Australia, artist Nazia Ejaz has shown her work locally and internationally. Her work explores her connection with Pakistan as she looks to establish a relationship with a new landscape. She exhibited her paintings in Karachi recently.
“The inspiration for these paintings comes from Pakistan – its poetry, colours and music – the warmth and resilience of its people – the popular culture – the noise and drama of everyday life. Finding myself, now in a new country, I need to look back to connect forward. I am ultimately looking to find my own place in this new landscape. But what does one carry forward – and what does one shed from ones past and traditions – what is truly valuable?” Nazia says.
“I have tried to represent in these paintings, the fragmentation that accompanies this process of loss and assimilation. The stylised cityscapes are deconstructed and recomposed. These tightly choreographed concrete labyrinths oscillate between realism and abstraction and are meant to direct the gaze of the viewer to wander the streets. Searching perhaps, for something recognisable through the crowded yet still and deserted vastness. The rickshaw paintings are a symbol of Pakistan, of the people – this motif is at times indistinguishable from myself.
These vehicles are not very different from portraits and have vibrantly colourful personalities, like the thriving middle classes they transport. They are loud, noisy, crowded, polluting, festive, sad, improvised, uncomfortable, fragile, comfortingly intimate and sometimes broken but always cheerful. The frames around the rickshaws are decorated in traditional chammak patti sticker designs, widely used in the decoration of urban public transportation. They refer to a migrant history, the embellishment of temporary and transient spaces while assigning boundaries to these images, acknowledging a distance from their subject,” she explained.