Mehwish Iqbal’s Mind, Body, State encompasses an intricate and meticulous body of work in which examines the complexities and delicacies of individuals experiencing vernacular and makeshift surroundings through a constant state of flux. The work excavates a parallel and symbiotic relationship of internal landscape of human life, and sheds light on the impact of forced divisions, partitions, monopoly of power structures and geopolitical warfare cultivating an abnormal exodus of masses facing the challenges of settling into foreign territories.
The process consists of layering multiple printmaking media on highly fragile and sensitive materials like cloth pattern paper—later exploited through tactile surfaces of textile genre. While mouth blown glass sculptures and intricately carved porcelain bodies further pose a plethora of questions associated with the susceptible wear and tear of individuals living the harsh realities of Ilaqa Ghair in Pakistan and offshore detention centers in Australia.
“As an artist I am highly concerned with the position of women in society and treatment of children in detention centers. My work strongly advocates issues related to social justice and highlighting the voices of minorities and marginalized communities.” —Mehwish Iqbal.
Mehwish Iqbal works in mediums across painting, printmaking, textiles, ceramics, sculpture and installation art. Her work takes on provocative measures, bringing attention to notions of womanhood, courage, liberation, and power. In addition to exploring various themes involving migration, the influx of refugees and migrant diaspora, monopoly of power-play, commodification of human agency, and hybrid identities. Iqbal holds a Masters of Art from COFA, UNSW with High Distinction in Printmaking 2011. She has participated in several prestigious residence programs, NewYork Artist League 2011USA, Megalo Print Studio 2013 Australia, Halka Arts Projects 2014 Turkey, Bundanon Trust 2014 Australia and Blacktown Art Centre Residency 2015. She has been a finalist in many art awards and prizes including; Hobart Art Prize, Blake Prize, Fisher Ghost Art Award, Paramor Art Prize and International Emerging Artist Award. She has also been the recipient of Victoria Marinov Award UNSW, Ian Potter Travel Grant, Australia Arts Council Grant and Public Art Commission CoLABS.
Mehwish Iqbal has widely shown her work across Australia, Pakistan, USA, Turkey and Hong Kong. Her work is held in prestigious collections both locally and internationally. She has participated in Istanbul Contemporary, Hong Kong Art Central and Karachi Print Biennial and Sydney Contemporary Art Fair.