Artist Spotlight: Mehwish Iqbal

6 Nov 2022
Mehwish Iqbal takes us through her current body of work in her recent exhibition at Yavuz Sydney, Laa Maakan

“My work often embarks on this interrelationship between the interior body and the exterior landscape” – Iqbal

Mehwish Iqbal works across painting, printmaking, textiles, ceramics, sculptures, and installations. Her work provocatively explores notions of womanhood, courage, liberation, and power. She experiments with themes involving migration, integration, assimilation, and separation. 
Iqbal’s recent exhibition Laa Makaan at Yavuz Sydney, is a culmination of her labor-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. 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.
As Sara Raza writes: 
In Mehwish Iqbal’s work the remixing and collaging of signs and symbols from the ancient and the modern, the sacred and the profane, the local and the global are meticulously combined to highlight high and low registers in debates surrounding the fine arts and craft, and also contribute to a nuanced tapestry of contemporary thought on complex geopolitical conditions. Iqbal’s method of piercing, sewing and stitching together is an act of defiance against fixed categorization, which refuses being fixed to one place or system of thought.