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A Reminder of our Fragility as Humans

Thoughts from the Studio

Faiza Butt

The current pandemic has had a considerable impact upon my practice. I share my studio with other artists and we all come into regular contact as we share utilities and other social spaces within the studio. The fear of infection resulted in rules on how many of us should be in the studio at one time. We were rotating our presence to maintain the recommended 2 meter spacing. It was creating an inconsistency in my work hence I have set up my studio at home. Working from home can be erratic and invasive and that has a degree of impact on one’s work, and productivity.

Ironically, self isolation is not new to most artists. Most artists work solo, and the social isolation has not had an emotional or psychological impact on my state of mind. The collective uncertainty and disruption of routine has created moments of reflection. These times are a reminder of our fragility as humans.

As a diasporic artist, I am used to changes and a transient state of existence. My work has addressed our vulnerability in the past. These extraordinary times have had an impact on all of us. It has reminded us of our collective faith and our sense of responsibility towards each other and our planet. I believe I may address concepts that affect us humans collectively, and focus on the universality of issues that the current uncertainty has revealed. Perhaps it’s too early to assess if it has had a life changing impact on me, I believe it will reveal itself in time.

This is part of a series called ‘Thoughts from the Studio’ initiated by the Vadehra Art Gallery, Delhi. Published here in collaboration with the gallery.

Born in 1973, Faiza Butt trained at the NCA in Lahore and the Slade School of Art in London. Her work has been shown in various museums and included in several publications. Her recent show titled ‘Pehlwan’ at the Grosvenor Vadehra, London, was very well received and served as a step towards improving the Indo-Pak relationship through cultural connections. The artist lives and works in London, UK.