Paradise Lost (2022)
Artist: Amnya Walayat
Artist Statement: Power and control are core themes that I aim to address in my work. These themes can be found in all elements of life on this planet, amongst humans, animals, and even in the botanical world. Power struggles, particularly between genders, and in politics, race and slavery inspire me to address other related issues. My work is informed by Michel Foucault’s ideas on power and Edward Said’s work on Orientalism that I studied during my MA in University College Cork.
Using the medium of traditional and neo-Indo-Persian miniature painting and the language of symbolism, my work expresses my hybrid cultural experiences. Being female, Asian, and Muslim, as well as a migrant, mother and artist, these personal strands of identity provide me with the opportunity to connect with global issues in general.
Violence against women and children, particularly in various cultural contexts, are themes that I continuously address in my work. The violence against women and children in Mother and Baby homes in Ireland resonates with me alongside the theme of international human rights. Working as an artist activist, my paintings are silent protests or performances against this violence
Artist Biography: Amna Walayat is a Cork-based Pakistani-born emerging mixed media visual artist. Her current practice is based on traditional and neo-Indo-Persian Miniature painting, expressing her hybrid cultural experiences and her position as migrant artist. Recently, she mounted her first solo exhibition as a part of the Cork mid-summer festival under Pluck Project (2022). Her work was exhibited in the yearlong exhibition The Narrow Gate of Here and Now at IMMA (2021-2022), 191 RHA (2021), Dublin Arts and Human Rights Festival in Chester Beatty and Mill Theatre (15-24 October 2021) and with a two-person show at LHQ (March 2021). \n She is interested in the promotion of South Asian Art and Culture in Ireland and Europe. She has worked as Creative Producer in Residence with Cork County Council for her community-based project ‘South Asia Community Museum in Ireland’. \n Amna has an MA in Modern and Contemporary Art History Theory and Criticism from UCC, and an MA in Fine Arts from Punjab University, Lahore. She has worked as Programme Organiser with the Pakistan National Council of Arts and as a Curator with Alhambra Arts Council (2001-07). She has worked with Cultural Action Europe as a MENA Cultural Agent for advising on policies (2021). She is a member of Sample-Studios, Backwater Artists, Art Nomads, Smashing Times International Centre for the Arts and Equality and Visual Artists Ireland, and is a recent recipient of The Arts Council Ireland’s Next Generation Award and Project Arts Centre Bursary Award.