Artist: Hina Khan
Khan has created this large-scale pencil drawing as a response to the themes raised by Miriam O’Connor’s exhibition Tomorrow is Sunday. Khan and O’Connor developed a dialogue, sharing their perspectives on grief, intergenerational responsibilities, gendered labour and subverting patrilineal succession and expectations. Khan focused on the tree which features in O’Connor’s exhibition, entitled Leylandiic, which is described by O’Connor as ‘a foundation for all the other works and approaches that inform this project, holding everything together in protective, supportive and comforting way’.
Khan observes the significance of the tree in the other artists work, where she ‘found a new companionship in the tree, which is witness to all what has happened – observing, witnessing, listening to all, silently. Its presence is a companionship to a person in grief and somehow the person has also learned naturally to share that grief with the tree, which provides her with the spiritual and physical link between the past and present with a hope for future’.
Khan’s depiction of a tree represents a solid and unchanging presence, akin to the tree of life, despite humankind’s interventions into the land. The lifespan of the tree, over numerous generations, allows it to bear witness. Khan says: ‘we come and go but trees are there to record history physically and spiritually. I believe that trees are our spiritual mentors as they become one’s silent listener, responding spiritually to one’s queries and confusions with their profound silence and their overwhelming presence as comforter and provider. Trees give us strength, wisdom, beauty, protection, redemption and bounty’.
Hina was born in born in Pakistan in 1980 and completed an MFA, majoring in Miniature Painting from Pakistan. Hina’s work uses a mixture of traditional and innovative techniques in miniatures. She portrays social issues, immigration, humanitarian crises like prostitution, gender discrimination, gender restrictions, trauma, child abuse and killing in her work.
Hina uses miniature in her work as the intricacy and delicacy of the brushwork has a unique identity. Hina’s work began as a mixture of traditional and contemporary miniature and her practice has now expanded to include small and large-scale installation, videos and 3D.
According to Hina ‘My work is a constant search for the best way to interpret ideas and to express my own ideologies through symbolism. I am creating a dialogue through my art. My art is a reflection of inner connection, and how immigrants and nomadic artists are a part of this land. Migration is deeply rooted in my blood. I have carried two cultures, one from where I was born and the other is this culture where I am trying to re-root myself. Sometimes a situation is not in our control, but life always takes us on different voyages. This journey has built up a constant transition in my art, personality, and in terms of experimentation, enabling me to evolve my artistic practice.’
Hina has participated in number of groups shows in Pakistan from 2002 to 2011. Hina came to Ireland in 2015 and participated in a number of exhibitions in Dublin, Laois, Mayo, and Cork. Hina was awarded several residencies with Fire Station Arts Center, Create Ireland, West Cork Art Center and Cow House Studio and has displayed solo exhibitions at Ballina Art Center, Mayo, and Stradbally Art house, Laois.
Hina’s art pieces are held in the permanent collection of The Arts Council of Ireland. She is the recipient of several awards from The Arts Council of Ireland, Create Ireland, and from different counties. She is the recipient of an R&D award from Create Ireland in collaboration with Tomasz Madajezak under the mentorship of Jesse Jones and is also collaborating with filmmaker David Bickley. Currently she is preparing artworks for State of the Art: The Nation State as both Violator and Protector of Human Rights presented by Smashing Times International Centre for the Arts and Equality, funded by The Arts Council and is working on a solo show which will be displayed in the LHQ gallery in 2022.
Hina says that ‘as an artist, I am inspired by Sadequain, Michelangelo, Picasso, Frida Kahlo, Shahzia Sikander and Anselm Kiefer.’