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Maha Ahmed – A Mute Land

8 – 28 July 2016

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Miniature painting is amongst the richest cultural traditions that emerged at the time Mughal’s ruled the Indian Subcontinent. Akbar was the first Mughal patron of the arts, with Lahore as his principal residence commissioned numerous illustrated manuscripts that incorporate Persian, Indian, and even European elements. The lavishly decorated manuscripts are recognized and appreciated worldwide and hence, appropriating elements from these manuscripts seem fitting to emphasis my concept–a mute land.

The series is aimed to uphold the rich cultural context of the Indian subcontinent by appropriating Mughal Miniature paintings as a reminder of the potential found within the East. Removing colour from these paintings encourages the audience to step closer to be able to encounter the work – from a distance the image will be mute completely black after a closer look the detailed aspects of the paintings become visible.

The process adopted to produce the paintings is one that builds on the initial layer of paint, and each image is individually built by enhancing it. As they may look similar, they certainly are not–as Maha Ahmed believes they can never be.