Seema Nusrat makes ambitious sculptural forms, generally using great quantities of materials in a manner that ties their formal properties inextricably to a more ambiguous relationship to the body. Based in Karachi, she is the third recipient of the Charles Wallace-Rangoonwala residency award.
Pieces such as Untitled (2005) are strenuously made from knotted, looped and woven paper in industrial proportions. The work belies sense of drapery and structure as familiar to fashion construction as to sculpture, yet makes only oblique references to garments. Instead the work retains a theatricality of form - a monstrous prop if it weren't so delicately rendered.
Works such as Untitled (2006) speaks more directly of the body, through its use of ties - surely the garment most consistently associated with masculine authority. By inverting, twisting, and folding them en masse Nusrat archly confirms their phallic association, yet also allows more fluid or even 'feminine' shapes to take over.
During her residency at Gasworks Nusrat has became interested in ideas of consumption and to the extent to which this can induce obesity, through an ongoing exploration of the body, responding to her immediate surroundings, she has become interested in consumption habits which she sees as specific to Londoners. She incorporated this into her work by using take-away plastic cutlery to create shell-like constructions; aggregates of matter whose resultant forms appear unforeseen and uncontrolled.
The Charles Wallace-Rangoonwala residency award is an annual residency organised by Green Cardamom and Vasl for an emerging artist from Pakistan to have a residency at Gasworks. This year's selection panel consisted of Mia Jankowicz (Residencies Curator, Gasworks), Nada Rasa and Hammad Nasar (Curators, Green Cardamom), Anthony Spira (Curator, Whitechapel), Helen Legg (Education Curator, Ikon) and Gavin delahunty (Curator Fine Art, mima), with the advice of Naiza Khan (Director, Vasl). The award is generously supported by the Charles Wallace Pakistan Trust and Rangoonwala Foundation.