Join us for Shazia Ahmad's gallery opening of Tenderness (A Meditation on Home), Friday, September 23rd from 7-9pm!
Tenderness (A Meditation on Home) is a primarily print-based exhibition by Shazia Ahmad, and is an extension of her on-going pandemic diary series A Year, A Garden, A Feeling (Covid19 Diary), started in 2021. Integral to her practice is the sumptuousness of Pakistani textiles and carpets, domestic items that have surrounded her for the entirety of her life. Her nuanced relationship to her Pakistani identity is nostalgic, harking back to a past she tries to hold on to as the memories of it recede. These remembrances are expressed through a vibrant limited colour palette in reconstructed repetitive elements of both domestic interiors and exteriors. Her work is about reaching out to touch a past which can never exist again. There is not so much an absence, but a yearning. Tenderness (A Meditation on Home) has the same vibrant limited palette as her pandemic diary, with cobalt blue being a dominant colour, thus making the work deeply introspective.
This work was produced during Shazia Ahmad’s one-year residency as the 2021-2022 Don Wright Scholar at St. Michael’s Printshop and was made possible by the generous support of the Canada Council for the Arts. As with all of her work, Tenderness (A Meditation on Home) is semi-autobiographical and reflects not just an intense period of artistic production but also her move from Quebec to St. John’s in late 2021.
Born in Karachi, Pakistan to a Pakistani father and a Chilean mother, Shazia Ahmad’s practice and research interests are centred on the notions of home and belonging, tied to the broader theme of otherness due to her interfaith and unique mixed-race background. Moreover, she pays tribute to her Pakistani heritage by merging elements of the country’s material culture with personal imagery in her visual vocabulary. Her practice comprises printmaking, painting, and domestic microcosms encapsulated in handmade dioramas.
Shazia Ahmad graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Studio Arts (Painting and Drawing major) from Concordia University in 2019 and was a finalist for the Prix Albert-Dumouchel in 2018. She was also awarded the Guido Molinari Prize in Studio Arts upon graduation and is the recipient of several Canada Council for the Arts Explore and Create grants. She has exhibited her work in Canada, the United States, the UK, and Spain. She has a previous double major undergraduate degree in Art History and History, and completed her BTEC Foundation Diploma from Central Saint Martins in 1999.
As Shazia's year as our Don Wright scholar comes to an end, we really look forward to seeing and sharing all of the work she has done in her time with us!