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Anila Quayyum Agha

Art Statement: Intersections

With this large scale patterned wood project I explored intersections of culture and religion, the dynamics and interpretation of space and sight as it threaded through cultures and emerged as varied expressions that redefine themselves with the passage of time. In this piece, a motif that is believed to represent certitude is explored to reveal its fluidity i.e. the geometrical patterning in Islamic sacred spaces. This project is meant to uncover the contradictory nature of all intersections; which are simultaneously boundaries and also points of meeting.

The Intersections project takes the seminal experience of exclusion as a woman from a space of community and creativity such as a Mosque and translates the complex expressions of both wonder and exclusion that have been my experience while growing up in Pakistan. The wooden frieze emulates a pattern from the Alhambra, which was poised at the intersection of history, culture and art and was a place where Islamic and Western discourses, met and co-existed in harmony and served as a testament to the symbiosis of difference. I have given substance to this mutualism with the installation project exploring the binaries of public and private, light and shadow, and static and dynamic. This installation project relies on the purity and inner symmetry of geometric design, the interpretation of the cast shadows and the viewer’s presence with in a public space.

Biography

Anila Quayyum Agha was born in Lahore, Pakistan. She has an MFA in Fiber Arts from the University of North Texas. Agha’s work has been exhibited in over twelve solo shows and 40 group shows. In 2005, Agha was an Artist in Resident at the Center for Contemporary Craft, Houston. In 2008 she relocated to Indianapolis to teach Drawing at the Herron School of Art in Indianapolis. In 2009 Agha was the recipient of the Efroymson Arts Fellowship. She has also received an IAHI grant (2010) and a New Frontiers Research Grant (2012) from Indiana University. This year Agha received the Creative Renewal Fellowship awarded by the Indianapolis Arts Council.

Agha works in a cross disciplinary fashion with mixed media; creating artwork that explores global politics, cultural multiplicity, mass media, and social and gender roles in our current cultural and global scenario. As a result her artwork is conceptually challenging, producing complicated weaves of thought, artistic action and social experience.

Website: www.anilaagha.squarespace.com

Title: Intersections

Year: 2013

Size: 6.5' Cube, Projected Shadows: 35'x32'

Materials: Laser-cut Patterned Wood, Light Bulb

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