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Artist Critique – Sheree Naqvi

Sheree Naqvi is one of the emerging artists who became a part of the feminist organisation Filia. She participated in Filia’s December exhibition at Oxford House Gallery which was her second official exhibition.

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Sheree’s art is concerned with dichotomies which are following her all her life. The artist is extracting art material from her own life and experience, from her contact with Muslim culture in the Far East and English culture in which she is currently living. A strong emphasis on the question of women’s freedom and masculine dominance is resonant in her artworks. Among her artistic inspirations are Iran female artists such as Shirin Neshat or Shadi Ghadirian.

At her December exhibition at Oh! Gallery, she decided to connect the problem of refugees and women’s vulnerability in a few artworks.

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The most striking one is called ‘Peg, Washing Line and Nath’ and it is a series of three black and white photographs of an artist suffering from different kinds of confinement. The artist’s apprehension of traditional marriage is that women are suffering from a lack of freedom, they are stuck in the world of housework (symbolic of washing line and peg) and they cannot express themselves. Pain is the obvious topic in all three photographs, but it’s only a reflection of internal pain of women.

The artwork shows the reality of an unhappy life as a consequence of an arranged marriage joint with domestic violence.

thumb_20160921_182738_1024Naqvi’s second artwork, ‘Hair faces’ evokes loss –on one hand the loss of a feminine sign, and on the other hand the gaining of freedom. Muslim women should not display their hair, nor draw attention of others as they should follow the rules of Islam, but controversially we can see hair on display here and this should lead us to the question of coexistence of Eastern and Western culture.

East and West, masculine and feminine, inner and outer – we can find reflections of all these aspects in Naqvi’s artwork. Finding them is – of course – not enough: we need to observe them as well as absorb them.

Eva Smininova
Gallery & Arts Intern

Main image: ‘Peg, Washing Line and Nath’ & ‘Hair faces’ by Sheree Naqvi

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