September 5 – December 13, 2014
The central work of Anila Quayyum Agha: My Forked Tongue is a visually stunning installation: English, Hindu, and Urdu alphabets are strung on gold, black and red metallic threads interspersed and held in place by red, black, and gold beads. The selection of languages reflects the artist’s upbringing, for she is fluent in all three and grew up using them interchangeably. Agha, who is Associate Professor of Drawing and Foundation Studies at the Herron School of Art, IUPUI, in Indianapolis, explains that the “craft and labor-intensive nature of this piece, both in the making and the installing of the work, brings additional points to ponder such as craft versus high art, gender roles, and the physicality of the human presence.” In addition to the installation, four drawings by the artist will be displayed in the area outside the Education Gallery, bringing the exhibition into the second-floor Lobby Gallery.
Anila Quayyum Agha works in a cross-disciplinary fashion with mixed media, creating artwork that explores global politics, cultural multiplicity, mass media, and social and gender roles in our current cultural and global scenario. Her conceptually challenging work produces complicated weaves of thought, artistic action, and social experience. Agha was born in Lahore, Pakistan and has an M.F.A. in fiber arts from the University of North Texas, in Denton. She has had more than 12 solo exhibitions and has participated in 41 group exhibitions, and she was an artist in residence at the Center for Contemporary Craft in Houston in 2005. Since 2008, Agha has taught at the Herron School of Art. Last year she received the Creative Renewal Fellowship awarded by the Indianapolis Arts Council. Previous awards include the Efroymson Arts Fellowship from the Central Indiana Community Foundation, Indianapolis, (2009), IUPUI’s Arts and Humanities Internal Grant (2010), and a New Frontiers Research Grant from Indiana University (2012).