In her debut solo show, artist Mariam Suhail is presenting a collection of drawings using permanent markers and highlighters on paper. The 30-year-old artist, who is originally from Pakistan, moved to Bangalore early this year and began work on this show called fig.1.
Art by Mariam Suhail — Discussion with heart on table
A lot of her work, be it sculpture, video or photography starts out with a bit of drawing. “It wasn’t a conscious decision to have a “drawing” show as such, but the emotionless lines of text book drawings and diagrams with simple stationery like markers seemed like an interesting form of expression” says Suhail, who depicts everyday situations and emotions that most of us can identify with.
Art by Mariam Suhail — Young girl looking at text book
Suhail majored in sculpture from the Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture, Karachi, but rarely limited herself to the medium. “My initial works were mostly sculptural, though it’s better to call them objects that I was making in fiberglass, but even in that body of work there were photographs and prints. As an artist, one constant is that I like to document things” says Suhail, who taught at the School of Visual Art in Lahore and at the Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture in Karachi until last year.
The most striking feature in Suhail’s work is the simplicity. In all the works on display at this show, she uses textbook-like illustrations that’s found in instruction manuals to portray complex emotions and thought. The diagrams are accompanied by text that seems to have an oversimplifying effect. “The language has been used as a tool to toy with certain ideas. Within the play of text and image, how we “describe”, the way we learn, comprehend and absorb, there is a lot of possibility for ambiguity and multiple meaning” says Suhail.
Art by Mariam Suhail — Young girl oberving the clever escape of water molecules
Suhail has previously participated in the Tanera Mor 3-island International artist residency in Scotland (2007) and was part of the the Khoj International Artists’ workshop in Mumbai (2005).
Mariam Suhail’s works can be viewed at Galleryske, St. Mark’s Road, until 27 July.