Ecologies of Displacement

Multan, an ancient city of shrines – and motorbikes!

In early 2021 Pakistani artist Farrukh Addnan and I were selected to take part in Ecologies of Displacement a international visual arts residency hosted by Koel Gallery, in Karachi Pakistan, and Summerhall, in Edinburgh, Scotland. which received support through a British Council and Creative Scotland Connect and Collaborate grant. In November 2020 Farrukh and I had met through Koel Gallery’s online exhibition Landscape of Memory curated by Sana Bilgrami and Meliha Peracha which showcased the work of 5 Scottish and 5 Pakistani artists. Farrukh and I were selected for Ecologies of Displacement as promising artists exploring similar themes in diverse ways in our work.

Ecologies of Displacement was a nine-month digital collaboration between Farrukh and I alongside mentoring sessions and bespoke skills workshops. We also developed bodies of work for the exhibition Ecologies of Displacement at Koel Gallery (January 2022) which will travel to Summerhall in August 2022.

A central part of Ecologies of Displacement is travel for both artists to each other’s countries, and in January I set out on the trip of a lifetime to Pakistan. Landing first in Lahore in the north east of Pakistan, I met Farrukh in person for the first time. After two days touring Lahore we drove with Farrukh’s brother Fahad on a four hour journey to their childhood village of Tulamba where we explored an abandoned archaeological site nearby which is an important locus of research in Farrukh’s work . After Tulamba we drove on to the city Multan where we visited a number of important ancient shrines. Late on the 10th of January I flew on to my final destination of Karachi to prepare and help install the Ecologies of Displacement exhibition at Koel Gallery. I spent my remaining three weeks in Pakistan in Karachi on a cultural and creative exchange.

In August 2022 we will welcome artist Farrukh Addnan to Scotland.