luminous red cube casts intricate shadows by Anila Quayyum Agha
Anila Quayyum Agha was born in Lahore, Pakistan. She has an MFA in Fiber Arts from the University of North Texas.
Since winning the public and juried votes at artprize 2014 for her luminous installation ‘intersections’, pakistani artist Anila Quayyum Agha continues her work with sculpture, shadow and light. ‘all the flowers are for me – red’, recently presented at new york’s aicon gallery as part of the exhibition ‘walking with my mother’s shadow’, magnifies an ornate display of floral and geometric motifs within the space. this piece, and other new works on show, reflects on the complex facets of love and loss the artist experienced over the past year.
at aicon gallery, the hanging installation comprises a 60 cubic inch, laser-cut steel object pierced by carefully crafted patterns and geometric cuts. illuminated from the inside by a single bulb, ‘all the flowers are for me – red’ casts lace-like motifs onto the surrounding walls, ceiling and floor. these impressions are drawn from geometries present in islamic sacred spaces, emulating patterns from the alhambra — a palace and fortress complex located in granada, spain.
simultaneously, the installation reflects anila’s mix of emotions following her son’s wedding and her mother’s passing within weeks of each other early this year. ‘in the floral beauty of the patterns and layers, the cuts and embroidery strive to capture the identity, beauty, and femininity of my mother and other mothers – me, you, us – that become obscured by gravestone and shroud,’ she explains. ‘these patterns pay homage to the organic, to which death is inevitably linked, but from which new life also emerges.’