Humaira Abid speaks to CWU students in Artist Talk Webinar series

Humaira Abid speaks to CWU students in Artist Talk Webinar series

Mariana Gonzalez, Staff Reporter

Pakistan-born artist Humaira Abid always has the same goal when she creates a new piece of art: to start a conversation with viewers. Abid explained this to students during an Artist Talk webinar on April 20. The Zoom webinar formed a part of a series the Art & Design department is hosting this year. This artist talk was co-sponsored by the Student Muslim Association.

Abid, now a Seattle resident, focuses on the details in her artwork. A professional of miniature paintings and wood sculptures, Abid explained the steps of her process from inspiration to showcase including her art piece, “The Stains are Forever,” a piece featuring bloodied pacifiers being swept up was inspired by gory photos of a school clean up where multiple children had lost their lives in the 2014 Peshawar school massacre.

The news of the massacre hit Abid hard. Abid explained she kept thinking what if it was her daughter. All but one of the victims in the Peshawar school massacre were boys. Abid recounted how the only girl that was killed was the same age as Abid’s daughter and it had been her first day at school. She explained the reason for the disparity as in the region of the attack losing a boy is considered more tragic to a family than losing a daughter.

Abid said her intention with her artwork to start a conversation is successful as she doesn’t shy away from tough or taboo topics. Abid’s series of paintings titled “Fragments of Home” depict different situations she witnessed first-hand or in the news. 

The paintings were done on wood sculpted to look like rearview mirrors. Abid spoke of one of the paintings which feature two young boys running away from violence holding a plastic bag. Abid said the bag in her painting contained all of the boys’ possessions.

Other paintings were inspired by real refugee children, according to Abid. One of the paintings features Leila Fatima, a five-year-old girl from Zambia. Abid explained Fatima’s story as one riddled with abuse from her parents and instability. 

Heather Johnson, Manager of the Sarah Spurgeon gallery said, “I’m hoping [Abid’s Artist Talk event] will encourage people to think about other perspectives, the perspectives of people from other countries, and different experiences.” The talk was open to all CWU students.

Abid answered additional questions on her process and materials from the audience towards the end of the webinar. Abid revealed she uses empty shells to mix and hold her paints and never has extra material lying around as she doesn’t want the material to tell her what to do.

More information on Humaira Abid and her artwork can be found on her website humaira.com.