As an immigrant, the memories of my childhood continue to inspire my artwork and ideas on a daily basis. I am fortunate enough to have two very different cultures to rely on for inspiration. It is this fusion of cultures in my heart that is reflected in my artwork.
For my project, UNTETHERED, I am using butterflies to represent myself. The butterfly is a fragile being, which is the essence of classic femininity. The essence of the butterfly’s being, however, comes from its strength to metamorphize and reinvent itself and survive a grueling process of change and migration. The butterfly in the Pakistani culture represents the purity, innocence, and beauty of childhood. The carefree playing of the children is represented in the fragile but purposeful fluttering of a butterfly around the garden. As a mother of three incredibly beautiful and smart girls, the ultimate intent of my artwork is to show my daughters the importance of following one’s passion, no matter how far it takes you. Like the butterfly, I want them to embrace the inevitable changes in life with the strength and resilience of a mighty woman and live and love in the most colorful way possible!
The fragility of the butterfly is represented with the fusion of print making and kite making. The details with the beads and sequins involved hours and hours of painstaking work. In the end I have created an extension of myself with these butterflies. I have given them names of all the beautiful young women in my family, and each name is enhanced with a characteristic they represent to me. I've chosen these characteristics to be represented in Urdu, my native language, because the sound of the words being spoken and the imagery, they conjure sums up everything I am trying to represent with the butterflies. These butterflies also function as kites and kites represent flight and freedom. Let all the women in the world, young and old, express their fragility and beauty to the world, while being strong and soaring higher and higher in the sky. That is what I feel is the true might of femininity. The ability to change and grow and to keep flying higher and higher through new landscapes and vistas full of life and color.