Wikipedia. “Anwar Shemza.” Wikipedia, 22 Oct. 2020, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anwar_Shemza. Accessed 6 Dec.
Shemza, Mary. “Anwar Jalal Shemza.” Third Text, vol. 3, no. 8–9, Sept. 1989, pp. 65–78, 10.1080/09528828908576236. Accessed 17 Nov. 2019.
Tate. “Anwar Jalal Shemza 1928–1985.” Tate, www.tate.org.uk/art/artists/anwar-jalal-shemza-14097. Accessed 6 Dec. 2020
Dadi, I. (2009). Anwar Jalal Shemza: Calligraphic Abstraction. www.academia.edu. [online] Available at: https://www.academia.edu/10614730/Anwar_Jalal_Shemza_Calligraphic_Abstraction [Accessed 11 Dec. 2020].
[From Aphra Shemza] My grandmother’s text about Anwar is below:
In 1960 when we returned from Pakistan to Stafford and were living with my parents he rented a small terraced house nearby which he used as his studio. He grew a magnificent row of sunflowers in the tiny garden at the back of the house. He shared the studio with a family of mice that lived inside an old sofa that had been left there. When we moved to our own house in 1964 he worked in a large summerhouse which had been built by the builder who had built the house. It had large sash windows and a huge Victorian fireplace. In the winter he worked in the dining room of the house. If he was drawing at the table the cat always sat behind him.
He always worked out the compositions in line in his sketchbook. He stretched and prepared his own canvases, quite meticulously. Later he became interested in working on cloth. He favoured worn cloth preferably with holes and used to ask my mother for any she could find. He hand dyed this in several merging colours. When dry he would fray the edges and stick it on either hardboard or mount board. Sometimes he had prepared the borders by hand marbelling or cover the background with cloth or silk. If the background was marbled this was prepared flat on the floor stamping over the ground wearing flip flops. The painting was usually in oils. He taught on the Foundation Course in Stafford College and worked in the evening’s developing coloured etching with our friend John Coles, a printmaker from the Royal College. He did pottery with Derek Clarkson head of Pottery and photography with Paul Lingwood, head of Photography and John Burgess, typography. He exhibited with Ralph Syvester who taught painting there.
In addition to doing his own work he always taught full time. Firstly part-time the college and the Graham Balfour Grammar School. Then Ounsdale Comprehensive where he later became head of art, then head of art in Weston Road High School. Both Graham Balfour and Weston Road were new schools where he founded the art departments. He took a year out to take his ATD at Birmingham School of Art where he additionally did research of the Visual Response of a Black Child in a White Society.
He made frequent trips to London to keep in touch with Galleries and buyers, such as Vesta V’Soske and Liberties. He was always in touch with the critic, George Butcher either in Oxford, London or Stafford, Jock Kinneir typographer, collector, London and Stafford, Alberto Theile, Fikran Wa Fann Magazine, Jalal Uddin Ahmed. Julian Sherrier.
He only returned to Pakistan once, to design his mother’s grave.
His friends were, Karam Nawaz, Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Moyene Najmi, Khalid Iqbal, Miriam Habib, Shooja Saif. Jalal Uddin Ahmed, Jock Kinneir. John Tonks, John Burgess.