Yavuz Gallery is proud to present Laa Makaan, Mehwish Iqbal’s inaugural solo exhibition with the Gallery.
Continuing Iqbal’s success from The National exhibition 2021, Laa Makaan is comprised of new works incorporating embroidery, printmaking, painting, textiles, and installation. Its title translates from Iqbal’s native language, Urdu/Rekhta, to: ‘into a divine world, without a place or a deity’. Exploring this concept as an external influence, Iqbal constructs and deconstructs narratives of belonging in her latest oeuvre.
As the artist states:
My work always draws upon parallels between historic events, their imposition and manipulation of current geo/political dynamics. The growth of oppressive regimes, eradicates autonomous voices creating a foundation upon which upheaval is propagated, leading to abnormal migration trends that further pose challenges to treatment of human agency in foreign landscapes.
Laa Makaan encompasses a strong discourse around the experiences of individuals whose life is shaped by stringent policies, war, famine, disease and climate change. Families are on a constant move for bare survival and their communities exist on the edge integrating and disintegrating according to the law and policies of the land.
In a wider context Laa Makaan becomes a pivotal point of discussion as it draws our attention to the dichotomy of power between various polarised states. This particular body of work takes direct inspiration from the natural environment by cultivating characteristics of the animal world into human psyche, thus, integrating an anthropomorphic lens.
Animal motifs are depicted as symbols of hierarchy to expand upon the dynamics of power in society. In turn, Iqbal’s work presents a disseminated composition of natural elements, distributed in an often-chaotic manner as a reflection of her native Pakistan.
Iqbal’s labour-intensive process follows a specific system of laws, much like the laws bound to the animal kingdom, the physics of nature and the echoing the realities of societies imposed legal structures. Laa Makaan explores these structures to reflect on our own positioning and place.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Mehwish Iqbal (b. 1981, Pakistan) is a multidisciplinary Australian artist whose practice incorporates, printmaking, painting, textiles, sculpture, and installation.
Her current research examines the geo-political scenarios giving rise to the influx of refugee and migrant diaspora, commodification of human agency, monopoly of power-play, hybrid identities and their complex reception in alien environments. She explores the interdependent relationship of individuals with their natural surroundings, dissecting a parallel landscape that explores the acceptance and rejection of new members in foreign territories. She actively engages with various communities to generate a universal discourse around human conditions to unravel its vulnerabilities, survival instincts and strategies through the layers of history and present-day challenges.
Iqbal holds a BA in Fine Arts, National College of Arts, Pakistan and a MA in Fine Arts, University of New South Wales, Australia. Residencies include New York Artist League, USA (2011), Megalo Print Studio, Australia (2013), Halka Arts Projects, Turkey (2014), Bundanon Trust, Australia (2014) and Blacktown Art Centre, Australia (2015). Recent curated exhibitions include The National, Museum of Contemporary Arts (Australia); Soul Fury, Bendigo Art Gallery (Australia); New Sacred, Mosman Art Gallery (Australia), amongst many others.