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Pakistani artist Faiza Butt in first major survey of her work in a British public gallery
Faiza Butt, Placebo for my warrior 1, 2008. Ink on polyester film.


NOTTINGHAM.- New Art Exchange presents Faiza Butt’s new exhibition Paracosm, at New Art Exchange, 39 Gregory Boulevard, Nottingham).

This ambitious new exhibition explores Butt’s practice over the past two decades; it comprises of a rich collection ranging from drawings and paintings, digital prints, light works and sculptural installation. Through a practice heavily influenced by the miniature painting tradition, Butt produces works with felt-tip pens and enamel paint that are obsessively crafted and hover somewhere between photography and embroidery.

The title of the exhibition Paracosm refers to the noun paracosm: a detailed imaginary world created inside one's mind. Saturated with her artwork, New Art Exchanges’ galleries will become a projection of Butt’s own paracosm, exploring her personal and political commentary on the world in which we live.

‘Artists have a purpose in society. You do not make art to make anyone comfortable or to amuse people. Art is a language, a code through which you hope to make a difference.’ Faiza Butt

Visitors are invited to journey through this vision, to question what is fantastical and what is real, and to consider the potent power of the image in influencing popular opinion.

Her artworks are based on pictures scavenged from the media and advertising. In a bid to connect with the widest audience, and in response to the snobbery towards beauty in contemporary art, Butt deploys candy-shop colours and familiar forms to capture the spectator’s interest before connecting them with globally important and sometimes controversial questions.

Beyond their beautified surfaces, Faiza Butt’s artworks address important and challenging global issues. The stimulus for her practice is wide ranging, however Butt cites growing up in the shifting politics of 1980s Pakistan and observing the impact of 9/11 on the young Pakistan diaspora in Britain, as major influences on her work.

Staged during the launch event of Paracosm, Butt’s new exhibition for NAE, Melanie Kidd, Director of Programmes will engage Butt in conversation to discuss these themes in more depth and to create a detailed introduction the artist’s practice (Thursday 23 April 2015, 7 – 8pm).

Faiza Butt was born in Lahore, Pakistan, in 1973. She received her BA from the National College of Arts in 1993, with honours, and was awarded the Berger Gold Medal for outstanding student of the year. She holds a master’s degree in painting with a distinction award from the Slade School of Fine Art, and a teaching certificate from the Institute of Education.

In 1995, Butt was awarded a UNESCO-Aschberg Bursary, and was artist in residence for three months at the Bartle Arts Trust (BAT) in Durban, South Africa. During this time, she held workshops for women from shantytowns, presented talks at museums and galleries and produced a solo show at the BAT Centre.

Butt’s elaborate drawings are obsessively crafted with passion and rigour, and create surfaces that hover between photography and embroidery. Born into a family of five sisters, feminist themes are close to her heart. Her 2009 exhibition, Three Women Show, at Vadehra Art Gallery in New Delhi, India, was very well received and served as a step towards improving Indo-Pakistani relations through cultural connections.

Her work has been exhibited at various art fairs, such as Art Dubai and the Hong Kong Art Fair, and extensively in Europe, the Middle East, South Asia and the United States. Her work can also be found in private and public collections around the world.





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