Mapping Memory is part of Transforming Narratives’ online collaborative project. Over the time frame of four months, Shaheen Ahmed, Jafrin Gulshan and Saba Khan consolidated the archives from Birmingham (UK), Lahore and Bangladesh to map out movement of ideas, friendships and conversations. This led to an understanding of a larger narrative between the regions through our artists. We have chosen artists on their institution building capacities, those who played roles in pedagogy and as mentors and were pioneers of art movements. Our predecessors had the privilege to cross borders, study abroad which allowed free flow of ideas and aesthetics. However in more recent years artists have faced more pertinent challenges with regards to travel and higher education escalating fees. Perhaps through this 2020 pandemic artists will work towards more environmentally sustainable online collaborations.
Saba Khan is a visual artist who lives and works in Lahore. Her work varies from painting, sculpture, photography to installation, to curating exhibitions and artists’ residencies. Saba's recent works are expeditions performed by an all-female artists’ group that studies ecology, impact of development and the role of the female gender in spaces of power. The collective visits monumental and ambitious sites, such as dams and barrages, that have transnational effects on the environment. She also founded Murree Museum Artist Residency, an artist-led initiative in 2014 which has published several artists’ books. Khan teaches at the National College of Arts, Lahore.
Shaheen Ahmed is a Birmingham based UK artist whose practice is driven by empathy, reworking maps to share narratives of statelessness, crippling infrastructure and disparagement. Shaheen creates Kirigami map art along with brush, ink and thread work. This unique style evolved whilst studying book binding and gestural mark making in Italy, as part of her residency with the National Trust. Shaheen's recent collaboration at the Lapworth Museum of Geology enabled her to experiment with scientific research relating to geometry formulations and geological maps around plate tectonics (movement of a place). Shaheen uses a multitude of techniques and approaches that are layered within her work, from calligraphy to digital and Islamic geometry.
Jafrin Gulshan is an artist, art writer and researcher based in Bangladesh. She works in a multidisciplinary approach with drawing, painting, printmaking, installation, performance and curation. Her work encompasses the range from personal fantasy to collective activism that emphasizes the everyday experience of life. Participated in many group exhibitions and workshops. Research is another part of her interest and has had an article published in a reputed journal.