Manchester Art Gallery

Risham Syed

Syed's postcard sized paintings are mementos of a city in constant flux.

Manchester Art Gallery
Saturday 30 September 2017–Sunday 25 February 2018

Free

Risham Syed is an art maker based in Lahore, Pakistan. She makes work about her experience of her immediate environment and that of the city of Lahore.

From using newspaper images to domestic items to Victorian furniture, her works are imbued with a sense of history. Syed is interested in how history affects politics, value systems, the role of women, educational systems and architecture. Syed will install sculptural works which reference collective memory and colonial history as interventions into Manchester Art Gallery’s 18th and 19th century collection.

At the end of the suite of historic galleries, she will have a solo exhibition of new postcard sized paintings. Instead of typical postcard scenes, Syed’s subject is the ever changing cityscape in Lahore and how building work is constantly transforming her home town. The exquisite paintings are mementos of a city in constant flux. Painting is a central element of Syed’s artistic practice and here they are juxtaposed with life-size objects from the construction industry, like iron rods or spiked grills, which give a dramatic sense of scale.

Biography

Find out more about the South Asia art and culture programme 2017-18

Risham Syed is an art maker based in Lahore. She is a graduate of the National College of Arts, Lahore and the Royal College of Art, London. Over the years her work has been included in major national and international exhibitions and collections around the world. This includes the ABRAAJ Capital Art Prize, Dubai, Whitworth gallery, Manchester, Asia Pacific Triennial, Brisbane, Hangzhou Triennial of FIber Art, China, Mohatta Palace Museum, Karachi, National Gallery of Art, Islamabad, Harris Museum, Preston, Barbican Centre, London and the Fukuoka Triennial, Japan.

Risham’s work is about her experience of her immediate environment and that of the city of Lahore. From using newspaper images to Victorian lace patterns, to items of domestic use, her work speaks about the role of history in determining politics, value systems, life patterns, choices, educational system and architecture. It also talks about the boundaries and peripheries that define the role of a woman in society. Painting remains central to Risham’s practice but she also uses elements such as found images, textiles, pattern, margins, borders and frames creating a context to about these boundaries. Risham currently teaches at the School of Visual Arts and Design at the Beaconhouse National University, Lahore and is heading the Visual Arts Department.