Western Sydney artist Mehwish Iqbal is making waves in the international art scene.
Following her recent show Diaspora-Making Machines, curated by Paul Howard at Blacktown Arts Centre, her latest exhibition FLUX was recently presented at Woollahra’s .M Contemporary and China’s Art Central Hong Kong.
Her exhibit proved to be a hit when a prominent Hong Kong business tycoon and high profile Belgium collector purchased her works.
“This body of work deals with a range of cultural and social issues including the displacement of refugees, migration stories and human trafficking,” Iqbal said.
Her collection includes works on paper, textiles, paintings and sculptures.
She said she focused her interest in exploring the role of women and children in contemporary society and the phenomena of global migration in relation to the commodification of human agency.
“You can see the collection deals with migration and how I take that journey into a visual experience and transcend through a work that is not literal, but at the same time provides insight into what is happening to people who migrate and how they fit into society,” she said.
“I made multiple casts of my own legs in porcelain where I inscribed the surfaces with the stories and images of a women’s migrant group in Mount Druitt, associated with Blacktown’s SydWest Multicultural Services.”
She described her work as a synthesis of eclectic concerns that generate from the realm of personal experiences of social, cultural and political landscapes in the country of her birth, Pakistan, and her home Australia.
By layering images and sewing into fragile surfaces, Iqbal references the human body and tackles many aspects of assimilation and adaptation.
“My practice incorporates a diverse set of media including printmaking, textiles, painting and installation art,” she said.
“It shapes, reforms or appropriates itself according to the vocabulary of the ideas; often referencing the natural world and the human body.
“My familiarity and fascination with paper makes it a consistent part of my practice – its fragility and tactile nature allows me to use it to constantly explore new dimensions.”
She said the grammar of art for her is abstract, non-descriptive and embedded with layering of visual dialect that speaks at a physical and intellectual level.
“It is a language to communicate and initiate a universal discourse, spelling strong underlying commentary that questions social and cultural norms,” Iqbal said.
The former Parramatta Artist Studios resident artist will take up residence in Brooklyn, NY later this year.
- Visit mehwishiqbal.com.