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Hira Butt |

Hira Butt’s work explores ideologies of gender and cultural dominance, exploring the place of Pakistani women within marital and domestic spaces. Through personal experience and conversations with a number of married Pakistani women, the artist seeks to critique both the wedding day, and the life promised that often does not materialise.  

Artist Spotlight

"In December 2009, I moved to England from Pakistan after finishing my Bachelor in Fine Arts, it was then my emotional rollercoaster of a journey began. Since then I have worked on and off in different creative fields. In 2017, I got the opportunity to begin my Masters in Fine Arts. Relishing the opportunity, I experimented and stretched myself as an artist as much as I could, I completed the course in 2018 by winning the Master Degree Prize in Medium Practice.

Photo Credit: Garry Jones

My current practice explores the place of south Asian women in domestic spaces. I have previously used ready-made objects and bejewelled them to give them new identity while maintain their originality. My current practice involves golden bangles, a piece of jewel that tacitly becomes part of South-Asian women’s lives and becomes means of many personal expressions.

Some of my previous exhibitions are; The Twin; Coventry Biennial 2019, New west midlands Art 2019 (4thOct-24Nov) Coventry, 2019 August Schwarmerei Members Show, Ort Gallery, 2018 Exhibition 175, Birmingham School of Art, Birmingham School of Art, Margaret Street, Birmingham, MA Exhibition at Birmingham School of Art 2017, 2013 Master of Art International, the Mile End Art Pavilion, London. (Selected by Margarita Feaks Gallery) and 2011 Young Artists Exhibition, MAC Birmingham."


"Mhairi Vari’s work display at Coventry Biennial 2019 attracted my attention as soon as I laid my eyes on it. Mhairi Vari is Scottish artist based in London. Vari frequently assembles commonplace, cheap and found materials using DIY techniques to create large scale sculptural installations which are embedded in the sites where they are exhibited. E.g. Support for a Cloud 2017 and Perpetual Doubt, Constant Becoming (2015/2019).

The grandiose and agglomerated display of meters of colourful rope made out of loom bands instantly resonated with my thought process of idea of repetition of cultural paradox and Pak-Brit Mess (self-acclaimed name): that diasporic generations after generations goes through. The cosmic scale, synced with messiness in this piece inspired me to stretch my own canvas and explore bigger space. To explore inevitable macro and micro influence of cultural transition on politics, sociology, domestic culture, intimate relationships and visceral human state.

Photo Credit: Hira Butt

My current piece reflects on the idea of gifting golden bangles to the bride on the wedding day as bond of trust, respect and value, ensuring the beginning of a stable and promising start of a new beginning when she enters into a new chapter of her life. This tradition is part of south Asian complex culture from many generations. These bangles tacitly became part of South Asian’s women’s personal lives, usually staying on their wrists for most of their lives. During my visit to Pakistan this year I got a chance to speak to women with diverse economical, educational and intellectual backgrounds. With my current piece, I explored the narrative that has transformed over the generations with-in and with-out home for women.

This work stems as a result of daunting personal experiences I went through because of transition from one place to another for the sake of relationship to be carried on. The transition opened up many questions about my identity and place as a woman in my home culture, western culture and western-home culture. This piece questions the repetition and continuity of the burden that women knowing or un-knowingly accepts, lives and continue to pass over."

Photo Credit: Hira Butt

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