Mehwish Iqbal

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Mehwish Iqbal is a contemporary artist, born in Sangla Hill, a small city in the Sheikhupura District of Pakistan.[1] She currently lives and works in Merrylands, Sydney.[2]

Biography

Iqbal grew up in the Sangla Hill Tehsil of Nankana Sahib District, Pakistan, a small city of Punjab where art was not even a subject taught at the local school. Growing up in a family of doctors and engineers, pursuing art as a career meant standing against all odds.[1] In 2002 in Pakistan, she completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts, majoring in Painting, at the National College of Arts. In 2003, Iqbal moved to Dubai, UAE where she collaborated with local artists on various projects and group shows. In 2006, she migrated to Australia with her family.[1] She went on to complete a Masters of Arts in 2011, majoring in Printmaking, at the College of Fine Arts UNSW, Australia.[1] Iqbal has been involved in a number of group shows throughout Australia and has done solo shows in NSW and New York. She has undergone artist residencies in Iceland, Pakistan, Australia, Turkey and New York, and has been offered 5 Grants and Awards from 2010 to the present.[3]

Style

Trained as an oil painter, Mehwish went on to acquire printmaking skill in the Masters program. She has since evolved her own style, experimenting with multiple techniques through layering to create manifold of imagery.[3] Taking inspiration from classic Indian miniature painting and Islamic geometric patterns, the work process involves stylized landscapes representing the delicacy of an environment whereas the animal symbolism in the current work is derived from hunting scenes of Indian miniature paintings. Iqbal is also influenced by the work of contemporary artists such as Swoon, Shahzia Sikander and Kiki Smith.[1] Her work is a translation of different ideas, which are carefully webbed through a process of layering at a physical and an intellectual level.[3]

Themes

Iqbal’s work provocatively explores notions of womanhood, courage, liberation and power. She experiments with themes regarding the course of integration, assimilation and separation experienced by migrants living in Australia, and investigates issues faced by under privileged children in developing countries. Her work is webbed out of stories of people and explores issues that shape one’s life. Through her work she tries to find the balance between the reality of life and its delicacy, events that shape us into who we are or what may become of us.[3]

Education

  • Masters of Arts, Printmaking Major, College of Fine Arts UNSW, Australia (2008–2011)
  • Bachelor of Fine Arts, Painting Major, National College of Arts, Pakistan (1999–2002)

Exhibitions

  • Paper Plane Gallery, Rozelle. Title: The Silent Diaspora (25 Sep – 15 Oct 2012)
  • The Art Student League, New York. Title: NYCE (23–29 July 2011)
  • Megalo Print Studio + Gallery, Canberra (Commencing) September 2014
  • Footscray Community Arts Centre, Melbourne (Commencing) 1–15 March 2014
  • Logan Arts Centre, Brisbane (16 Feb–March 2014)
  • Blacktown Arts Prize Show (05 Dec 2013 – 23 Jan 2014)
  • International Museum of Women, San Francisco. Title: The Only Daughter (March–May 2013)
  • Cross Art Project, Kings Cross NSW. Title: Feminage (2 Aug – 7 Sep 2012)
  • Casula Powerhouse, Casula NSW. Title: No Added Sugar (12 May – 8 July 2012)
  • Gallery RED, Glebe, NSW. Title: Under Pressure (3–24 Feb 2012)
  • CATM Gallery, Chelsea, New York. Title: Art Live (2 Sep – 2 Oct 2011)
  • Paper Mill Gallery, Sydney. Title: Flux Density (28 Apr – 7 May 2010)
  • Toyota Emerging Artist, Melbourne. Title: Looking Glass Exhibition- Reflection of the Modern World (24 Mar – 25 June 2010)

Residencies

  • Textilsetur, Iceland (June–July 2015)
  • VASL Artists Collaborative, Pakistan (Sep–Nov 2015)
  • Bundanoon Arts Trust, Australia (June–July 2014)
  • Halka Arts Project, Turkey (July–Aug 2014)
  • The Art Student League of New York, USA Vytlacil Campus (Aug–Sep 2011)

Grants and awards

  • Blacktown Workers Club Art Prize 2013
  • The Australian Muslim Women Arts Project Grant, an initiative of Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre, Liverpool NSW, funded by Human Rights Commission and Australia Council for the Arts 2011
  • Finalist Goodsir Travel Scholarship, Bendigo Gallery VICTORIA 2011
  • The Art Student League of New York Scholarship, New York, USA 2011
  • Viktoria Marinov Award in Art, College of Fine Arts, UNSW 2010

Publications

  • Art Monthly Australia, December 2013
  • OOMK Zine (One Of My Kind) London, November 2013
  • Art Monthly Australia, September 2013
  • No Added Sugar Book, June 2012
  • News Article, Daily Telegraph Monday, May 7.2012
  • News Article, Sydney Morning Herald, May 14.2012
  • Incubate Magazine, UNSW COFA 2010

References

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