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opaque watercolour on wasli paper
image: 12½ x 19 5/8 in. (31.8 x 49.8 cm.)
Executed in 2007
Corvi Mora Gallery, London
Acquired from the above by the present owner in 2007
Aisha Khalid, exhibition catalogue, Pumphouse Gallery, London, 2008, cover (illustrated)
Leicester City Gallery, Pattern Recognition, 20 June - 24 October 2009
London, Pumphouse Gallery, Aisha Khalid, 11 June - 27 July 2008
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Aisha Khalid is one of Pakistan's leading artists whose works have been recognised internationally and critically acclaimed as part of the 'contemporary miniature' movement, comprising a group of talented graduates from the National College of Arts in Lahore. Khalid's work is an embodiment of the 70s adage: the personal is the political. Her paintings belie contentious issues on gender and patriarchy, power structures, and the claustrophobia and inertia stemming from the domestic terrain. Her attire and the symbolism it begets is not an abstract concept but an everyday reality in Pakistan.

Kiss, 2007 utilises Khalid's exquisite visual vocabulary of infinite repetition, structured around two circular vortexes. This work marked a turning point in the artist's career as it was the first piece of Khalid's ongoing series using these forms. The pattern engulfs the picture plane and creates a stunning, virtual space with formal devices that could be read as types of mandalas - transformative maps of the universe from Buddhist and Hindu religious traditions - that act as a medium to transport both mind and body. There is also a seductive imprisonment that occurs within this realm that Khalid creates for the viewer. Her techniques of ornamentation that extend beyond the picture's margins generate a surface of syncopated rhythms and suggest both physical and psychological infinity within an enclosed space.

"Repetition through pattern as a screening of trauma runs throughout Khalid's work. Her subtle play with pattern illustrates how the common Islamic motif of abstract formal repetition may serve to reassure through recycling the familiar. Pattern plays its part in Khalid's use of camouflage by hinting at the hypocrisy within an orthodox use of repetition, one legitimized by a popular concept of tradition which refuses historical change."
(Dr. Virginia Whiles, Portraits & Vortexes, Gandhara-Art Gallery, Hong Kong, 2007)