ARTIST STATEMENT

My practice unpicks multiculturalism by paying close attention to hidden elements within British, Pakistani, and British-Pakistani cultures. I achieve this by focussing on personal life experiences, which have activated my sense of in-betweenness; of being caught between British and Pakistani cultural extremes. I draw from early conversations with my mother, whose colourful language contrasted with the strict social codes she attempted to enforce. My work is often a response to a memory of personal discomfort, shame, or awkwardness; the/my brown body is used as a site of inquiry which archives these diasporic exchanges. 

My practice revolves around citation and ‘re-mixing’; be that memories, historical references, popular culture and/or cultural signifiers which in turn, translate these experiences. I am interested in humour and its role in representations and use it as a tool which simultaneously translates these experiences and lures the viewer. The work is a vessel through which Through I re-present alternative representations of the marginalised body as one who is; aware of her sexuality and presents her unique femininity. My work aims to challenge notions of hyperbolic femininity, male-gaze, and Western perceptions of the brown body. It seeks to unpick, subvert/perpetuate cultural expectations surrounding the sexuality and taboos associated with Pakistani/British-Pakistani women. 

Currently, my research investigates South-Asian dance performances known as Mujra; which pre-Britain’s colonisation of India was considered an elite art form and, a pinnacle part of Mughal art. Contemporary Mujra is globally enjoyed however, its performers are exploited and exist on the margins of society. With these issues in mind, I use my body to re-perform Pakistani Mujra performers masculine and crude gestures. Often these works begin as video performances which are then appropriated and remixed into photographic, sculptural or installation works.