Wardha Shabbir: The Water You Seek

4 - 18 October 2022
"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."

We are delighted to announce our upcoming exhibition of new paintings by Wardha Shabbir (b.1987). The Water You Seek opens with a reception on Tuesday, 4 October from 6 - 8 pm. The gallery will also be open for a late-night view on Thursday 13 October from 6 - 8pm, which the Artist will attend. The exhibition continues until Tuesday, 18 October 2022.


Wardha's beautiful and exquisitely detailed paintings are the subject of her second solo exhibition at the gallery. The path, or Siraat, continues to inform Shabbir's work:


"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 forms 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.


"Within these paradisaical 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."



Opening reception

Tuesday, 4 October: 6 - 8pm


Frieze Gallery Night (the Artist will attend)

Thursday, 13 October: 6 - 8 pm


Exhibition continues

5 - 18 October 2022


Opening hours

Weekdays: 10am - 6pm

Saturday, 8 & 15 October: 12 - 4pm

Sunday, 9 October: 12 - 4pm



Visual practitioner and contemporary miniaturist Wardha Shabbir lives in Lahore, Pakistan. She graduated from the prestigious National College of Arts, (NCA), Lahore, with a bachelor's degree in Fine Arts (BFA Hons.) in 2011. During her academic career at NCA, Shabbir was awarded numerous scholarships and grants as well as being selected for an exchange programme in Paris, with the Ecole des Beaux Arts, (2006-'10). She is also a visiting Assistant Professor at NCA.


Since graduating, Shabbir has exhibited widely both within Pakistan and internationally. She was the first artist from Pakistan selected for FLACC Belgium, where she initiated a research-based experiment transforming a two-dimensional miniature painting into a three-dimensional interactive environment. In 2016, she participated in the Summer Intensive Programme at the Slade School of Fine Arts, London. In addition, Shabbir has exhibited at the Dhaka Art Summit, Scope (Basel), Contemporary Istanbul, Abu Dhabi Art, UAE, India Art Fair, New  Delhi, Artissima, Torino, Art, as well as numerous group exhibitions around the world.


Shabbir was among the finalists for the esteemed Jameel Prize 5 (2018), at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, an exhibition which travelled to the Jameel Arts Centre, Dubai in 2019. Shabbir has also exhibited at both the Lahore (2018) and Karachi Biennale (2018). She has been nominated twice for the Sovereign Art Prize, (2019 and 2020). Shabbir's work is in well-reputed private and corporate collections in Switzerland, Berlin, Dubai and Abu Dhabi, as well as various prominent collections in Pakistan, India, UK, USA and Canada.