Ms. Shazia Mirza's Profile

Ms. Shazia Mirza holds a Master’s in Fine Arts (MFA) degree from SUNY New Paltz. Apart from teaching Ceramics Design at the National College of Arts in Lahore, she is a practicing artist making objects in different mediums including clay. Currently, her work focuses on developing jewelry for the urban and aesthetically aware woman in Pakistan.

She has been invited to six different artists residencies in the U.S., Europe, China and Thailand, and in May 2017 was awarded a 16,000 Euro grant to complete an artistic research project by the European Keramics Work Centre in the Netherlands. Her work has been exhibited in solo shows both at home and abroad.

Abstract

Expanding The Vocabulary Of Cultural Expression Through Jewelry

Culture is joint expression of members of a society. It illustrates what is currently valuable and meaningful for that society, and holds clues to the way it wishes to be represented in future. That is why arts of letter and vision, language, music, crafts, festivities, and social customs keep on taking refiner forms and eventually become society’s new introduction.

Sadly, in Pakistan the cultural expressions have been controlled and barred to a great extend during last few decades, pushing the artist into survival mode, and leaving society into a state of cultural poverty. We still struggle to learn and appreciate original music, crafts, fiction and films that we should have made and disposed of decades ago.

Jewelry is one such cultural object that ideally should have reflected changes in roles and preferences of different categories of women in our society. New and truly local forms could have developed out of our rich regional traditions, but we missed the opportunity. Today I represent that small group of art jewelers who are working to expand the formal and material vocabulary for a new class of aesthetically educated, urban women who do not follow or identify with mass fashion trends. By making jewelry in non-precious materials especially porcelain, I have tried to separate the aesthetic appreciation from urge to collect commodity metal. Users of my jewelry indulge in a potent dialogue by accepting, challenging or correcting my aesthetic standpoint, and push me to make forms that are mutually acceptable for maker and user. This can be seen as production of cultural objects, reflecting some of the choices of our times. I share with you some jewelry forms that are favored by my viewers and also images of my process of making porcelain jewelry especially from my recent artist residency at EKWC, Netherlands.


Ms. Shazia Mirza
Assistant Professor/Head of Department
National College of Arts, Lahore

Fulbright Master’s
2008-2010
SUNY New Paltz

 

 

 

 
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