Every situation has a cause and effect. My father is a scientist and so I know this to be true. His science applies it on a molecular level; my art applies it on a sociopolitical one.
My work is narrative, the figures are paper dolls and the landscape is vivid- graphic- yet simplified only to include a most basic ground and sky, as if taken from a child’s memory. When I was very young, my mother would keep me busy with sheets of paper dolls and fairytales on tape. Not much has changed. I am still working with paper dolls while listening to books on tape (and so the narrative form my work takes seems only natural) and yet the way the world perceives me has undergone a drastic devolution. I was born Brown and Muslim and three decades down that is still how I am defined. Not much has changed.
In my work I try on different skin colors. At the moment, I am partial to green because I feel that defines me better than brown. I am green with envy because your country is better than mine, green like an alien because I fit nowhere, green like a witch because I have no children only cats, green because I make myself sick to the stomach with such thoughts and green because that is the color of the Pakistani flag.
The narration starts with a cause: a pushing of the red button by a mildly curious, almost nonchalant crowd that explodes into an uncontrolled chaotic effect. The button breaks (people can be so careless!) missiles are launched and everything spirals out of control. The situation in the narrative deteriorates rapidly resulting in an ending that is completely mad with no respect for form or boundaries. It is a dark comedy of errors, a devastating tale. But my colored paper self seems to continue through the narration completely unscathed. Only because I collage myself to a pristine layer to hide what has been battered and broken underneath. Right until the end when the plot unravels and all is revealed and all is lost.