CFAW's Artist of the Month
August'23 - Bilal Ahmed.
Opening doors to emerging artists is an opening to the future of culture and conversation. The thrill and beauty of finding art, being able to provide agency and a home to these artists is always going to be the highlight of my career. There is so much beauty in the world that demands celebration so why not start now?
Centre for Art Based Methodologies & Wellbeing started its “Artist of the Month” program June 2023. Our program is to curate and house as many emerging artists as possible and have them displayed for a month at Nani Ghar, CFAW. Everyone is invited to join and celebrate beauty with us.
Someone once told me “If you look closely enough at your own body... you’ll find the world”. Since the 1900s, artists depicted “body image” as a conceptual source in their work, for females a depiction through unflattering details began with the Venus of Willendorf showing expression beyond perfection. Time after time, we heard about self-expression and dialect-based art, through Bilal Ahmed’s work I can say we lived it.
In August, we celebrate Bilal and all the beauty his work brings forward. This artist explores the concept of dead weight through different materials that twist, mold, bend and stretch the story of his own body. Speaking volumes with metaphorical connection in integrated blend of mix-media, the artist humbles you piece after piece with the innate depth of connection one can feel through empathy. Join us this month in celebrating the phenomenal story of Bilal.
"I squeeze, I tie, I wrap, I fill and I stitch . With plastic gunny bags and ropes I sculpt vibrantly coloured, swelled up, bulbous organic forms that range in a variation of sizes. The act of sculpting occurs through a performative process, which further engages my body with the material.
Through my practice, I explore the idea of dead weight that stems from an inquiry of my own self. As a differently abled person, a dysfunctional, heavy, lifeless lower limb brings challenges that I observe and realise in my work. With a series of drawings and sculptures, I exaggerate the notions of living with this disability. The visuals then become a metaphor to understand the experience that the body endures and how it has to modify itself to navigate through everyday life. Making observations from my lived environment, I incorporate elements that resonate with weight, literally and metaphorically."
Bilal Ahmed (b.1994) is a visual artist based in Karachi Pakistan. He received his BFA degree from the Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture in 2022. He has recently exhibited works at numerous emerging artists groups shows including Sambara Art Gallery and Alhamra Art Gallery. He has also exhibited at public spaces and collective exhibitions like the Garmi project at Cinema 73 and The Sanctuary Art Gallery. Born in
Saudi Arabia, Ahmed incorporates a variety of techniques and mediums in his practice , ranging from drawing, sculpture, painting to performance art. As a consequence of this , he has been a part of a variety of performance art pieces as well. Some of them include a solo performance at the exhibition as we play beneath the warmth of an alien Sun by the New Art Gallery Walsall, February 2023, Jagah Hai, a group show curated by Amin Gulgee, Sara Pagganwala and Adam Fahy, October 2022, group show I whispered and pulsated within the waves curated by Natasha Jozi as part of Karachi Bienalle 2019. He was also the recipient of an award at the Artfest 2023 Karachi.
Bilal Ahmed's work will be on display at Nani Ghar, CFAW from 11th August 2023 to 31st August 2023. You are all invited to the Exhibition Opening to come and celebrate art with us.
Bilal will also host a performance art workshop at Nani Ghar on 25th August 2023. Please follow our Instagram page for further details and updates.