Amna Suheyl is a visual artist, printmaker, art educator, and curator based in Lahore, Pakistan. With a profound ability to translate emotion and experience into compelling works of art, Suheyl uses her platform to explore the nuances of female strength and resilience. Her inspiration stems from her mother and her maternal family's history of migration, as well as the women who surround her in her daily life.
One of Suheyl's most cherished pieces is a print titled 'You and I Are of One Blood and Soil'. The piece, which began its journey as a photo-etching print, has undergone several transformations over the years, evolving into a light-box installation that combines the original print with collaged cellophane paper to create a mesmerizing, dull red glow. This piece has become a print sculpture as Suheyl continuously interacts with it, fostering an ongoing dialogue between the artist and her creation. Each reinterpretation unveils new layers of meaning and depth.
'You and I are of One Blood and Soil' by Amna Suheyl
Amna Suheyl's journey into the world of art began during her high school years when she took Arts to enhance her skills. She later pursued a degree in Fine Arts at the National College of Arts in 2017, majoring in printmaking. Since then, art has become a significant part of her expression and she continues to expand her practice, incorporating various media, from traditional printmaking to digital artwork.
Through her work, Suheyl fosters a connection with a wider audience, showcasing her art in exhibitions and galleries both locally and internationally. She also relies on social media as a vital platform to share her work and ideas with the world. This allows her to connect with like-minded individuals and collectors, and to develop relationships with gallery owners, art enthusiasts, and collectors which are a constant support system in her practice.
The artist's unique style is characterized by the meticulous treatment of portraiture. She employs detailed stippling and pointillism to create semi-realistic portraits that amplify the emotions of the subject. Suheyl also utilizes light in her work, combining it with portraiture to create unique installations that are both engaging and thought-provoking. She takes inspiration from real people and depicts them as such in zinc and dry-point etchings for her print practice. For her digital work, she often works with light to develop pieces that combine light and portrait.
Her work touches upon the less-trodden territory of the feminine existence in nature, the cosmos, and history as warriors, healers, and guardians. Most of the time when women are depicted in art, it is from the male gaze, sexualized and charged. But Suheyl is interested in seeking the feminine in the ordinary and extracting the extraordinary from it. She believes that female heroism is a less-explored subject and her work sheds light on that historically as well as within the contemporary art narratives.
Being an artist in a country that often overlooks the importance of art presents its own set of challenges. However, Suheyl believes in the power of community-building as a sustainable way to keep art alive. She has established her own co-working art space to provide mentorship and resources to budding artists, and continues to build relationships with mentors and fellow artists who offer guidance and support.
Looking ahead, Suheyl plans to continue expanding her studio and enhancing her artistic practice by learning new skills and incorporating innovative techniques into her work. She aims to establish her work as a brand for affordable art, thereby making art more accessible to a wider audience. 'The entire point of art is to enhance and enrich the lives of people, and the more people who have access to art, the more balance it will create for us in the grim reality that is becoming our lives,' says Suheyl.