Within The Halo
Gaouche and gold leaf on wasli
My work is all about being a woman. What it feels like to be one, suspended between the modern world and old traditions and culture. Always questioning her place in society, where does she really belong? Who she really is, because society has such fixed notions about what a woman should be. What she should look like, how she should behave and so on. As women, we spend our whole lives trying to fit into a mold made for us, so much so that we lose track of who we really are as a person!
Within The Halo is about the woman bound up in in these concerns. She is trapped in the golden halo because she is required to be pure and blemish free. She must be free of all human failings and urges, something to be put up on a pedestal, only to be pulled down at the first sign of faltering.
I have been trained as a Miniature Painter and I like to challenge the boundaries of traditional Miniature Painting, experimenting with different techniques and using a contemporary visual language in an old art form. Juxtaposing the old with the new and playing with motifs and ornamentation of the traditional miniatures.
I am fascinated by the narrative and aesthetics of the traditional miniatures and I try to inculcate the same sensibility in my work. The beauty of the line, the harmony of colour and the use of decorative patterns and elements are part and parcel of my work.
Ayesha Durrani is a contemporary miniature painter, based in Lahore. She is a lecturer and instructor of miniature painting at the Fine Art department of National College of Arts, Lahore.
Image Courtesy | Ayesha Durrani