I have been investigating traditional handmade craft while using digital technology. My work encompasses the use of language, pattern, colonialism, translation, colour and abstraction. This work focuses on the history of Urdu literature where Persian and Arabic were the languages used within Pakistan. However, these languages diminished from the 19th century with British colonialism, the British preferred using Urdu more. Perso – Arabic script was no longer used as it became inferior. It interested me that colonialism caused the shift in language and influenced the country so much that Pakistan is still affected by this, and Urdu is now the main language spoken within Pakistan.
British Colonialism also influenced Pakistani art, specifically vehicle art. Many of the Trucks, buses and rickshaws are covered in vibrant patterns, colours and text, these colours were influenced by pop art. Combining the use of Urdu/Persian/Arabic and English text I created weaved pieces that interweaved all these languages and cultures. I used proverbs in all four languages because language lays out the social contexts of a society, every culture has their own social norms, traditions and rituals. Proverbs help to decipher the way culture is expressed through language; these sayings are a reflection of the surroundings of people, animals and nature.
Looking into Persian and Arab textiles, I found that Persian rugs are very famous in Iran and were made narrow to fit inside their homes. This led me to illustrating my own patterns to use for weaving and hand wrote Persian and Arabic proverbs in the style they are traditionally written in. The narrow illustrations of these patterns give the appearance of a Persian rug. These works aren't perfectly weaved and that’s what gives them a handmade quality. I want to represent them as works that embrace the mark of the hand, as human made artworks.