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The HAT Project 2006/07 is supporting 20 exchange fellowships between England, South Asia and Australia

Masooma Syed

Residency at Manchester Metropolitan University

I started with painting and later got involved in 3-D mediums like sculpture and jewelry .I believe it was an ongoing transformation of ideas along with materials I felt .This work is about contradictions, questions and unease posed by the social constraints and mischievous handling. The tiny taboos, the social, political bigotry, the injustice around, based on careless human judgment embodies the fragile, tiny nooks and corners of the human body and soul. I am interested to know how they function in different situations and societies, the pressure, politics and people.

I enjoy working with materials; organic or non organic, metal, paper, paint or stones as long as they speak of what I want to say. I believe materials can gossip, chant, demand and react to my intentions if I allow myself to listen to their soul.

curls, 2002 (more images)

I like the feel of these materials in my hand, which are tiny, fragile and bare, like feelings inside the heart. These delicate garlands of threaded half moons, which turn out to be trimmings from the fingure nails of friends, family, nails of many unknown others, subtly placed edge to edge in a queue or its the wispy quality of hair, edged by the gleam of steel sewing needles to be read as dainty tassels or a menacing border are both the unconscious human yearnings and the celebration of human desires and rebellion at the same time. Their smallness and almost inconspicuous presence was parallel to their majestic quiet solace.

It’s a great opportunity to pursue my work through an exchange programme based on both learning and sharing through hat. I would like to be an artist in residence at the Manchester Metropolitan University. If I am offered a place to work there then I would be very keen in the ‘School of Design’ specific to 3-Diamentonal design. In view of my current art practice and teaching in the discipline of both visual Arts and jewellery design in the Beaconhouse National University, Lahore, I find 3-Diamentional design, very exciting and dynamic in terms of activities ranging from glass, ceramics, and fine metalworking. My art and jewellery practice in non traditional materials and processes has resulted in a form close to ‘Body Art’. On the basis of this I would like to further enhance my skills and perceptions, the contradictions and craft sensibilities there in the context of my own work.

Work in the backdrop of the contrasting culture art and design fabric and coming from the certain artistic, social, cultural, political system, will benefit me immensely in both my creative pursuits as well as teaching aid.

Parallel to this it would be great contribute my experience there and share my ideas and thoughts through workshops/ slide presentation or visual talk on my own work and my contemporaries.

Click on image to open QuickTime movie


Masooma Syed talks to conference during cHAT week at Sanskriti, Delhi, India. March 2007