Sydney-based artist Shazia Imran has caught our eye, with her expressive collection of mixed media canvases. I caught up with her to ask a few quick questions about the structures and cityscapes in her art, as she prepares for her next exhibition at the Asia Contemporary Art Show.
First of all, tell us a bit about how you like to decorate your home. What is your personal interior style like?
My home is mostly neutral earthy tones. I love the natural or raw oak wood texture. Decor and my paintings always complement each other. I like the comfortable living style so at the end of the day you can relax at home.
Do you like to hang art at home?
Yes definitely. In the final stage of the paintings I always hang them on my walls to see how it would look in the home setting.
Tell us a little bit about you and your art background.
I am a Pakistani-born Sydney-based artist. I grew up in a family of judges, lawyers, and engineers. Art was something which was appreciated, but taking it as a profession was a unique concept. But looking at my creative ability I was encouraged to go in the art world. I graduated with a Degree of Design from the National College of Arts Lahore. This provided me with a good foundation in art and design.
I worked in the graphic design field for a few years in Dubai and Sydney, and then moved to online and digital work after completing my Masters in Digital Media from the University of Western Sydney.
Fine art was always my passion so I started participating in shows and exhibitions in Sydney. Luckily I won some awards. My international exposure started when I was invited for the New York Art Expo in 2014. After this I participated in many international shows. Winning the Lorenzo il Magnifico award [at the Florence Biennale in 2015] was the highlight of my art career.
What sort of buildings and architecture draws you in?
I love shapes and textures created by urban architecture. I also like the historical buildings. All these buildings are reminiscent of the glorious past. That fascinates me.
As many of your pieces are cityscapes or moments from travels, could you tell us more about those?
I love painting urban scenes. I have traveled to many cities and countries so painting cityscapes came naturally for me. Though I love painting figurative work, cityscapes remind me of all the lovely moments I spent in these beautiful places. And I think my collectors feel the same looking at my artwork. It reminds them of their holidays.
My recent body of work is based on the mandala – representing the wholeness and unity of mankind. Representing the universe itself, the mandala is both microcosm and macrocosm and we are all part of it. No matter what region, race or religion we belong to, we are all the same; we are all humans. With this concept I am taking my passion of urban scapes to another level. You can see the latest work in Asia Contemporary Hong Kong in March 2017.
While being a fervent traveler, Imran is also taking her art with her to many exhibitions and shows with even more upcoming events this year.
Where have you been and where are you going next?
I am exhibiting in Hong Kong, Singapore, Florence, London, New York, Melbourne and of course my home town Sydney. I am represented by Macey and Sons in Hong Kong, where I will be showing at the Asia Contemporary Art Show, Suite 4026, March 18-20th 2017.
After this show I am heading to the London Biennale March 29th – April 2nd. I am really looking forward to both shows.
Many thanks to Imran for taking a moment to talk with me about her style and designs. You can see more of her artwork on her website, where she keeps an update on future exhibitions.
This interview has been edited for format, clarity and length.