Shahnur Shahzad

Artist’s Statement:

Mediums and materials are two important things that make concepts more powerful and these two things are what I like to explore the most. Mainly my work revolves around simple concepts and everyday neglected minor observations. I never bind myself to a specific art form rather then that I always prefer to explore new mediums to express myself and to create a visual language.

Final Project: 

Do things and places lose their value when they become easily accessible?


Do we stop admiring the beauty of an object when we have access to something grander and more splendid, something more iconic?

This project is related to my experience in Siena at two different moments: one is when I first arrived here and the second is when I’m about to leave. At the beginning I was overwhelmed by the amount of stunning art pieces that were just around the corner. I used to admire them every day as I walked pass but as time began to fly and I explored other cities of Italy which contain the most iconic art pieces in the world. Unknowingly my appreciation and admiration started to shift until one day I realized as I passed by the fountain of the Bruco contrada that once I used to admire the beauty of this spot but now I’m a person like many others passing by a same spot every day and nothing more.

My project revolves around the fact that things lose their importance as they become more easily accessible so they lose their value as they become a part of our daily life. The place that once held my admiration is now just another spot to pass by.

What is art for you? What do artist do? What is the purpose of art?

Art is a medium through which an artist can respond to society. It is amendable true that art does not move mountains or change systems overnight but it is a form of expression that leaves an impression which later leads can lead towards major changes. Each art piece is another brick in the pathway that will lead towards better future by continuing the road of history.

Art answers and questions our society, provokes people to think, changes and creates different perspectives, makes people believe in possibilities and provides a platform to stand for ourselves and for others to speak up with a never-ending freedom. As Jerry Saltz says, art is an energy source that can change the rigid systems of society. Art is a silent scream that isn’t heard when an artist wants it to be heard but it does get a response sooner or later. Not every person can connect with a single art piece but only few can, those who might have felt something similar once. Art is for others or maybe for artist him-or herself. Art is what is felt by an artist. Art is a place to escape, to be or to do what one wants to without any fear that is holding oneself back. It is an attempt to make a slight change in the world around us or the people around us. It is a breathing space, a place where one can vent out everything that one wants to get rid of. Art is a way of speech and a form of expression, a place where dreams are lived and impossibilities are converted into possibilities. It is a place to escape from harsh realities to dwell into surreal thoughts. Art is as necessary for survival of mankind as any other field is.

Mid-Term Project “Baggage”

For the midterm project I have worked with the concept of personalities being depicted by the minute important choices made by diverse individuals for example the choice of backpack. How each individual choose a specific backpack for everyday use so the shape, material, colour, print and the way they customize them gave us a slight illusion of their personality. The act of carrying them on our backs filled with the amount of essentials required and being not able to see them is a way of telling a story as anonymous writers. In my work I have played with the anonymity of a person and how only backpacks can tell us unique stories about different unfamiliar individuals. I photographed many strangers with their backpacks while I was walking on the streets of Siena everyday and then I photo shopped those pictures to add another dimension to it by highlighting the backpacks.

Luoghi di Fuga Booklet Project:

For the Luoghi di Fuga book project I thought about the places where I go to escape from the crowd and daily monotony. Usually I take different route for my way back from school. I like to stroll on less crowded streets. When I am walking I like to observe people and the way they carry themselves. For me each person holds a different story and that is what they portray through the way they carry themselves. The thing that caught my attention the most are backpacks as they are being carried by us on daily basis thus they became a part of our personality. The color, shape and pins or key chains hanged with them reflect a slightest hint of a person’s individuality. Our unconscious choices depict the more natural side of our personality. I like to study people through colors and the way they carry themselves. In my book I’ve tried to capture the characters of different backpacks trying to give a hint of different people around me.

Reading Response: Rebecca Solnit, The Blue of Distance:

The blue of distance caught my attention from the title as I am very much interested in colors and their connotation; at present blue colour dominate in my personality. I have always looked at blue as a very calm colour which symbolizes depth, stability, wisdom and loyalty. Blue reflect achievement and confidence.

It’s very well written, the words and phrases have their own impression on the reader that is another reason why it got my attention. It’s a simple yet very impactful writing. The use of blue colour to make different connections was astonishing. How blue dominates our soundings and how it adds a sense of distance and longing. How blue is a color of desire and solitude, how desire seems very charming as long as its far away but once we are able to grab it at that very moment how accessibility can ruin the beauty of longing. How the idea of getting lost in unfamiliar places fanaticize us as we like to live in oblivion.

I really like the way it’s been written and how blue is a colour of distance is being proved; such intelligent writings which introduce a reader to new perspective are very gratifying to read.


Intro Unit Project: Tempo Zulu

Everyday passing by a Tempo Zulu stone and being ignorant was what struck me the most. I don’t fancy an art piece to remain concealed or being over looked by people but at the same time I don’t wish for it to be visible to everyone so for that reason I opt to work with sunlight and reflection through mirror. At the certain time of the day the sun rays will hit the convex mirror placed on the ground which in result will reflect the rays in an outward direction, creating a beautiful glare to attract spectators. The process of reflection have no predictable timing as it completely relay on the weather and the specific time, at which the parallel rays will hit the mirror, seizing an attention for a moment of those who are interested to see the source of glare.

The convex mirror of approximately 7 inches in diameter is placed on the ground near Santa Maria del Serve because the old cathedral is at a very calm place and has a less adorned architecture yet magnificent interior and it offers the best view of the city. The convex mirror is surrounded by purple stones and beneath the mirror there will be a text engraved on a stone which says: “what is veiled is unveiled to the seekers.”

The use of light and reflections has always been very important in all religions thus light adds an element of purity and serenity while purple colour represent majesty and spirituality. Circle is equal to 360 degree which indicates infinity, timelessness and universe.

Intro Unit Project: Walk of Destiny

During my walk the deviant sight that enthralled me was the diminutive graffiti that was done here and there. This minimal graffiti was not vandalizing any historic buildings as it was done on objects that can be reinstated. Graffiti was adding a whole new dimension into the space by making it more appealing and intriguing the observer to look at the layers and collage that can be noticed with a little observation. For me it is like displaying a piece of yourself on an open exhibition and giving observer a chance to think about a personality of a person through the windows of graffiti.


IMG_20180825_185036Shahnur Shahzad, Pakistan
Bio statement:

I am currently a student of third year at National College of Arts, Lahore with major in sculpture. Mainly my work revolves around simple ideas and slight observations. My main focus is usually on the material I’m working with, at that time. I like to discover its nature by experimenting with it or by approaching it in a contradicting ways to create a visual language. I am still finding out my style by exploring and experimenting with diversity of materials and mediums in dissimilar ways. I don’t like to bound myself to a specific art form so I keep myself engaged in exploring other mediums of art.