I am a recent graduate (painting major) of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC). My work is based in identity and installation. Sometimes a final piece is the installation itself, though more often it is a large photograph of aspects of the installation or of myself in body paint inserted in the environment.
Originally from Brooklyn, New York, I am of Pakistani and Swedish descent. My Pakistani family has exposed me to that culture's artistic tradition of expressing everything in patterns and color rather than in figurative form. I inherited my mother’s Swedish genes, but my older sister inherited my dad's Pakistani features. I believe my sister had an easier time embracing our Pakistani heritage because she looks the part. I won a scholarship to go to India in early 2016 and took the opportunity to explore my connection to the subcontinent. Being in the subcontinent gave me a chance to ponder my confusion and realize the connections I do have to my culture. I was particularly inspired by the banyan trees and began to think of the them as a loose family tree. When I returned to my studio in Chicago, I built a chaotic environment filled with layers and colors echoing the trees' aerial roots, a place in which I'm still very white, yet somehow belong.
Based on the original work from that trip, I was offered in 2017 a place at the Kriti Gallery's Artists in Residency program in Varanasi, India, as well as a solo show. "Through the Roots; Out to the Clearing" is collection of inkjet photographs of constructed spaces in my studio, accompanied by an on-site installation, building on the earlier subcontinent work.
Other work reflects different aspects of my identity exploration. The photo series “Mania" and the installations, "Manifestation of Medication" express different representations of a manic episode I experienced during my freshman year of college, as well as the ongoing experience of processing that event and living with a mood disorder.
“Through the Roots; Out to the Clearing,” solo show, Kriti Gallery
Varanasi, India, October 2017
A series of 8 large-format inkjet prints and an on-site installation (paint, paper),
the latter which was built during the gallery’s six-week Artists in Residency program.
“Manifestation of Medication,” BFA show, private room, Sullivan Gallery,
Chicago, May 2017
Room installation of paper, paint and pill bottles.
“Archer Ballroom/Beach Haus,” group show, "Resistance Series #1"
Chicago, May 2016
Mania photo series (4 large-format inkjet prints) and installation
(bedsheets with text).
"Touched by Fire,” a curated group show
Toronto, Canada, December 2014
40 x 60 x 3 1/16 text piece made with Sharpie marker
Recipient of John W. Kurtich Scholarship, January 2016
World Less Traveled Grant, Summer 2017