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Artists

Ayesha Durrani



VIEW WORKS

SHOWS WITH ART ALIVE GALLERY
Contemporary Chronicles
 26th September 2005 - 7th October 2005
 Art Alive Gallery



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Statement

Being a woman is a unique experience, a sweet and sour mix of intense feelings, volatile emotions and ultimate sacrifices.This is a time of great confusion, when the past and present are at a crossroads. Women in particular are struggling to redefine themselves as the precedents set by our mothers aren’t useful anymore in this modern world and day. Cultural stereotypes and our social do’s and don’ts stare at us. To top it all we have the western definition of a modern woman to contend with. What is a woman to be then? Is she the satti-savitri of the sub-continent who bears everything without uttering a word of protest or is she the western icon of feminism, burning her bra and scorning domesticity? Somehow I don’t believe that most of us fit in either of these categories. So where do we belong? This is what I’m trying to explore in my paintings, to find the woman inside me without any fear of disapproval. All the major decisions in our lives are made by others with total disregard to our feelings. It is this helplessness and utter frustration that is the groundwork of my paintings. The inability to speak out but a burning desire to do so. Ironically my culture is very important to me, and I do want to be a part of it without sacrificing my life in the process or accepting the horrifying things done in the guise of religion or culture such as honour killing, which I believe are violations of humanity. There are dress and moral codes and religious edicts for women but none for men. There is also an unrealistic level of perfection demanded of women by society, as she is expected to fit in the mould and be the same at all times beautiful, sweet, loving, caring, homely etc, without any personality or character of their own. The important thing is to have a freedom of choice, to be able to think for ourselves and be respected for who we are. Theoretically we believe in respecting women, but in reality no one does! As soon as a woman steps out of the house she is open to physical and verbal abuse, not to mention slander. It is this fear and insecurity that I speak against. The feeling that you are never really safe!

Biography

Ayesha completed her Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts, majoring in Miniature Painting, from National College of Arts Lahore in 2004 and a Diploma Course in Fashion Design from Pakistan School of Fashion Design Lahore in 1997. She has participated in many shows including ‘Voices’, ‘Reinventing Narratives’, ‘Diverse Voices’ in 2005; ‘Contemporary Miniature Paintings from Pakistan, Interpretations and Extensions’ in 2004 and ‘New Voices’ in 2003. Her works are on permanent display at Fukuoka, Japan and at foreign office in Islamabad. She lives and works in Lahore.


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