Saira Wasim

Saira Wasim

Artist Bio

(b.1975, Lahore, Pakistan)

EDUCATION: Bachelor of Fine Arts from Lahore, Pakistan.

SELECT EXHIBITIONS: Unicorn gallery, Lahore, Pakistan (2016); Hybridization, Amir Mohtashemi Gallery, London, UK (2015); The Great Game, The Iranian Pavilion, Venice Biennale (2015); Ethereal, Leila Heller Gallery, New York, USA (2014), To Define is to Limit, Hong Kong Visual Art Center, Hong Kong (2013); Epic Miniatures, Ameringer McEnery Yohe Gallery, New York (2008); Political Carousel, South Western University, Texas (2005).

Saira lives and works in California, USA.

Artist Statement

God and Guns

God and Guns is about America’s addiction to guns. Every year 1300 children dies from guns and our government's inability to track gun violence is highlighted in my works.

Here the image is chosen from Leonardo da Vinci’s famous drawing The Battle of Anghiari , whenever I looked at this famous drawing ‘The battle of Anghiari’, the furious soldiers involved in attacking each other connotes endless struggle; where both sides seems would never give up.

One of the soldier who has a furious smirk on his face holds the head of ram in his lap reminds me of gun lobby in USA- all powerful and in complete control.

The main purpose of the border or Hashiya is to beautify the painting but here it disturbs the spectators as well.

Silent plea

‘Silent plea’ talks about gun violence and American children shot by guns every year. Being a mother of three school going children, its every moms nightmare or biggest fear schools shooting but our politicians are too weak to tackle the gun control issues.

I have chosen famous 17th century French painter Bouguereau William’s Madonna and a child image with a weighing scale of justice or as a sign of plea but apparently guns are worth more than human life.

Main purpose of the Hashiya borders has always been to beautify the paintings.

For me, the Hashiya is a place where I can express myself with much openly or boldly and narrate how I see the world around me.

In a traditional way, my Hashiyas are visual appealing and disturbing at the same time. The traditional motives are subverted and tells the different story.

The paintings are done in two layers, inner wasli and Hashiya/borders. The Border/ Hashiya layers are cut and put on top of the wasli. Then paper cuts are pasted and motives are painted on the border.

Also the paper cut -images are coming in or falling out from the borders.

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