Sobia Ahmed

Ahmed is considered a particularly ambitious Miniature painter, who through her hard work and ardent practice made a name for herself in the contemporary art world. Her zest to create landed her at the National College of Arts, Lahore. Her affinity for the traditional art form is obvious from her continual pursuit of the technique. She took up the practice in 2003 by completing a workshop in Miniature painting followed by a Major in the age-old craft at NCA in 2004. Furthermore in 2012, Ahmed completed her MA Visual Arts at the same institution.
The artist has exhibited widely, nationally and internationally including Muscat, India, London, Japan and Dubai. Her work has been featured in several publications including Verve Magazine, Libas Magazine, The News and Art Now Pakistan.
Ahmed illustrates “the gradual decline of ideology in Pakistan” due to submissiveness to the West despite independence several years ago. The artist talks about “Our inability to free ourselves from external interference and create our own ideology that can stand up to outside interference has meant that there was nothing to counter western imperialism in our post colonial past. Therefore, I have attempted to interplay the past and the present to demonstrate how our subjugation by the British has damaged and even hindered the growth of our culture and ideology. I have drawn out similarities between the past and present political scenario through interplay of symbols that characterize the current (predicament) of Pakistan.”
Several symbols have been used in the narration; from more direct allusions to the Jinnah cap and the Pakistani flag to the presence of crows and vultures representing the menacing presence of western powers. Arrows have been illustrated to depict the suffering of a lost nation and foliage is shown as creeping up on the flag to show how our identity is crumbling away to nothing. The Pakistani society is presented as weak or vulnerable; highly susceptible to falling prey to these vultures.
The artist further discusses disparity within society generated from the lack of a proper system and school of thought. Ahmed touches upon ideas of divide on the basis of sect, religion and ethnicity.
The artist’s work was displayed in a solo show titled Who is afraid of Green? at Khaas Gallery, Islamabad (2014).

Sobia Ahmed

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