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Artist In Focus : Imran Qureshi

Imran Qureshi

In this section, we pick one artist to showcase their work and creative journey so far. Today, we look at contemporary artist Imran Qureshi.

What compels one to create in adversity ? An artist’s heart would hold the key to that question. Trained in miniature art, artist Imran Qureshi  explores the tales of violence and pours his heart through his craft to create patterns of beauty that lie within.

Yes it does look like blood splattered on the canvas, however if one looks closer and carefully they will find the leaves that have been painted with exquisite care. The juxtaposition of the beauty and the gore is all too unnerving. Imran is an artist who moves you.

Qureshi began making his signature blood splatter paintings and installations after he witnessed a severe bombing near his home in Lahore, Pakistan.

Born in Hyderabad, Pakistan in 1972, the artist studied in Lahore at the National

College of Arts with a major in miniature painting — a traditional discipline that he teaches there today. In Qureshi’s work, the exploration of ornament is both a return to tradition and a commentary on the present day. The artist converts miniature painting into site-specific installations that address architectural space. Works such as Blessings Upon the Land of My Love, 2011 (Sharjah Biennale) or They Shimmer Still, 2

012 (Biennale of Sydney) harbour references to the historical or political meaning of the respective buildings.

Imran Qureshi’s Working Style

In his art installation work Qureshi starts with performance-like gestures, hurling red acrylic paint violently at the surrounding surfaces. He then uses the skills he acquired as a painter of miniatures to render detailed images of verdant growth – twisting foliage and blooming flowers. It’s as if the rivers of blood have sprouted and a fertile world has emerged. Of this work says Qureshi, “Yes, these forms stem from the effects of violence. They are mingled with the color of blood, but, at the same time, this is where a dialogue with life, with new beginnings and fresh hope starts.”

Qureshi’s work is represented in the permanent collections of major institutions including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and the Victoria & Albert Museum, London.

To learn more about your favourite artist and their creative journey, visit Artist in Focus

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