• ‘Is She a Spinner of Yarns?’ | Karachi, Pakistan

    Imrana Tanveer's recent works in a three-woman show on view last February and March at the Gandhara-Art Space in Karachi, Pakistan.


    Imrana Tanveer: 'Blue of the War Sky'

    'Is She a Spinner of Yarns?'


    Using thread as a form of drawing, hence the theme of the exhibition, which also plays with the traditionally female role of spinning yarn, as well as using it as a metaphor for story telling,  each of the three artists in the exhibition creates a unique narrative. Cyra Ali uses it to question social and gender biases. Samina Islam is using thread in her painting to give form to a feminine voice, and Imrana Tanveer, featured here, talks of a more "glocal" (global and local) landscape, a world transmuting in the form of weaves.

    Imrana Tanveer: 'Naam.e.Amaal' (List of Deeds)

    "My work is a kind of  commentary on what is happening around me on both local and global levels" says Imrana.

    "The above work titled "Blue of the War Sky" is a triptych piece which was initially inspired from a visit my brother took to PAF (Pakistan Air Force) Museum in Karachi. It was a quite shocking and disturbing experience for me to see the images of modular monuments of the fighter planes displayed against a  blue sky background. War, any where and of any kind, is not something to celebrate nor to feel proud about. The work 'Blue of the War Sky' fantasizes and fascinates with the image of the blue sky I used to have during my childhood. The sky used to be so vast, pure, and so brightly blue, but now it has been corrupted and overshadowed by pollution (climate changes), smog, high rise buildings, planes and fear of falling drones and bombs from above.

    09-Imrana Tanveer, Third Space (VI), paper and thread, 2011-16
    Imrana Tanveer: 'Third Space'

    The Second work "Naam.e.Amaal", (List of Deeds) is a diptych in the form of carpets. According to Islamic tradition, Naam.e.Amaal will be presented in front of Allah (God) on Judgement day. The works apparently look like carpets, but on closer look you can see that they are composed of digital cuttings of newspapers with ads to get job abroad, usually to Arab countries, and preferably to the most dynamic and  economic hub of the world i.e. UAE (United Arab emirates). I was interrogating the idea of presenting oneself as the cheap labor and cheap wages which usually these countries seek from South Asia. One's CV/skill becomes the 'List of Deeds', the 'Naam.e.Amaal', presented just to get through, to look for a better future. It also expresses the idea of 'the grass is always greener on other side of fence'.

    07-Imrana Tanveer, Third Space (IV), paper, thread, yarn coiled ring and mirror, 2011-16
    Imrana Tanveer: 'Third Space'

    The series of diptychs "Third Space" was inspired from the seminars I attended during my Master program in Lahore a few years ago.

    The drawings on the left side of the diptychs are from 2011, while the works on the right side (woven), created recently, are meant as comments  to those drawings.

    The result is meant as a kind of dialogue, a comparison between past and current times, and a commentary on how past incidents have influenced  our contemporary times."

    Imrana Tanveer, Karachi, Pakistan

    08-Imrana Tanveer, Third Space (V), paper and thread, 2011-16
    Imrana Tanveer: 'Third Space'
    04-Imrana Tanveer, Third Space (I), paper and thread,2011-16
    Imrana Tanveer: 'Third Space'