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About

 

Sobia Ahmad is a Pakistani-American interdisciplinary artist with a background in Public Health. Her practice explores the transcendental power of everyday experiences, objects, and rituals through photography, time-based media, and social practice. She draws from non-western intellectual and spiritual lexicons, specifically traditions of devotional poetry and oral storytelling associated with Sufism. Often made in domestic and social spaces, her process-based work engages in conversations about relationality and reciprocity, embodied knowledge, alternative pedagogies, material experimentation, and DIY ethos. She employs analog processes that are slow and encourage sustained patience and concentration. These range from weaving and storytelling circles, invitational workshops, and socially engaged projects, to alternative and eco-friendly photochemical processes for developing still and motion picture film. Exercising the meditative potential of these processes, she hopes to understand how slowness and tactility might activate our inner lives and help us experience various spiritual and political dimensions of social and ecological engagement. Combining formal experimentation with collaborative approaches, she creates situations to challenge our habitual, cerebral and western-centric ways of knowledge generation.

Ahmad was born and raised in Pakistan and moved to the United States at the age of fourteen. She graduated with Honors from the Bachelor’s in Studio Art Program at the University of Maryland College Park. Her work has been reviewed in several major publications such as Al Jazeera English, The Washington Post, and The Huffington Post and has been included in multiple collections. She has exhibited internationally—including at the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art (Ithaca, New York), Craft Contemporary (Los Angeles), Queen Mary University (London), Museum of Craft and Design (San Francisco), and the Women Filmmakers Festival at the Smithsonian American Art Museum (Washington, D.C.). Ahmad's recent achievements include the Wherewithal Research Grant by the Andy Warhol Foundation & the Washington Project for the Arts (2020-2021), a socially-engaged fellowship at Halcyon Arts Lab (2019-2020), and a solo exhibition at the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design in Washington D.C. (2019). 

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