By Sebastian.M Araujo
Spring is in the air…time to blend the old and the new! Recently I had the chance to have a chat with an Artist who is doing just that, Zehra Khan. A unique creative spirit is imbued in everything she does. Multi-Media Art and even more traditional arts like quilting are her forte’!It would seem that the passion she feels for Life seeps into all she does…
What in the World around you affects your creativity?
My great-great-grandmother was a prolific quilter in pioneer Idaho. Her practical and colorful quilts where made from worn out clothing and swatches scavenged for salvageable fabrics. As an artist I am trying to decipher and interpret the world around me, and I was immediately drawn to the beautiful object, but also the process of giving new life to old clothes and the memories therein. I started making quilts of paper, using old drawings, paintings, doodles, and school homework.
How do you feel that technology has changed Art?
My artwork is often a response to the heavy use of technology in my life. I love the uniqueness inherent in objects that are made by hand; that reveal the ‘mistakes’ and deviations. Working with paper feels a little like a celebration of the basics, of everyday material… a little anti-technology.
But, I do love how technology has increased the world’s exposure to art. Technology has profoundly expanded the scope, audience and reproduction of art.
Why do people need Art?
Good art make my eyes buzz and my brain hum. Art helps humans decipher the world around us. It inspires us, provides wonder and magic and thought.
Was there a “Shining Lightbulb” moment in life when you knew you were or had to be an Artist?
I was immediately fascinated with Frida Kahlo as a child. She channeled so much of her unfiltered life into her art and was afraid of nothing. I’ve always wanted to be that courageous.
How do you begin to work on a project?
I try not to over think and get to making quickly. I don’t usually do preparatory sketches, because part of what I enjoy is piecing together the puzzle of a new piece. I like to engineer projects using materials easily available to me. My materials are acrylic paint, paper, cardboard, and recycled artwork.I focus on an interest; Indian carpets, medieval tapestries, or an animal, and find an appropriate medium or process, be it drawing, sculpture, installation or performance.
What is it about Provincetown that keeps creative people either living there fulltime or drawing them to its shores?
Provincetown is gorgeous. It is non-judgmental, it is freeing. The artist community is the most generous and encouraging of any I have been a part of.
How great it is to see Creativity that seems to know few boundaries…Ms Khans life’s work embodies the old and the new, with a vision of the world uniquely her own. IN this crazy time our world needs more Art and Creativity. My hat is off to Zehra for doing a great job of keeping that spirit alive in Provincetown and sending those good vibes out into the Wolrd!
For More About Zehra Khan:
Provincetown Art Association and Museum, Provincetown, MA. Color/Aid, April 1-May 1. Reception April 8, 6-8pm
Castle Hill Center for the Arts, Truro, MA. Flora and Fauna: with Zehra Khan, Michael Kline, Cherie Mittenthal, Hannah Niswonger and Gerald Simcoe. June 27-July 8. Reception June 30, 4-6pm
AMP Gallery, Provincetown, MA. Mimi Gross, Marian Roth, Jicky Schnee, Bebe Beard, Zehra Khan, Karen Cappotto, July 29-Aug 11. Reception July 29, 6-9pm