The path continues to guide my visual research into the space around me, while I take reference from the physical markings of the world and the non-physical realm of the mind. Having used surrounding spaces as a continuity of my canvas, I have moved on to create new ‘spaces’ within the paintings themselves, in form of passages, enclosures and sometimes even light. I construct these maps, not just to familiarize myself with these spaces, but also subconsciously to navigate through the past and future as a means of returning to the self.
The foliage, forming relations with points and lines, engages and disengages with the surface to formulate ‘organic geometry’ expressing a perceptual journey. With provocative elements of my subjective experience I create an interactive imagery that unveils itself gradually to the observer’s eye, stimulating their senses at first and finally reaching them through their own ‘visual vocabulary’. I aim to incite a thought-provoking process of demystification through the rendering of hauntingly beautiful visuals that persist in the mind.
Through this artistic pursuit, I pay a collective homage to the struggle that is quintessential to women’s lives. Taking forward the technique learnt during my years of practicing Miniature Painting, influenced by the gardens from my surroundings and contemporary architecture, the organic compositions portray a plethora of women’s experiences. The abundance of growth, morphing into elaborate motifs emulates the unfathomable contours of female imagination. Vivid hues illustrate the strength and vitality of feminine emotion.
Within these paradisiacal visuals I have carefully embedded symbols of loss and despair, but also hope and survival. There is infinitude in a person’s isolated journey; in following a path that has an end in itself. A path that multiplies, wavers, even breaks but reconciles over and over again. Etiolating flora amongst flourishing growth represents death in the path, as it is through death that one learns to live again. This contradictory state of awareness, living while dying at the one and the same time, paves the journey to self-realization.
Through my work I urge women to dissociate with their silence, and break free from the concrete confines of the world to recognize the endless possibilities and potential of their existence.
Wardha Shabbir, June 2021