Sobia Ahmad: Wherever you are is called Here
October 30, 2019 – January 5, 2020
Common Ground Gallery, VisArts, 2nd Floor
Weaving Google Maps screenshots and images of her childhood home in Pakistan with various locations she finds herself in now, Ahmad creates intricate anti-flags that reference ambiguity of place and nationality. Featuring sound and installation, Wherever You are is Called Here envisions ‘home’ as a mythical place, one that is abstract, beyond geography and ever-shifting due to larger sociopolitical climates.
About the artist: Ahmad’s recent body of work grapples with nuances and complexities of the idea of home as an immigrant. Weaving her personal history into the broader cultural fabrics, Ahmad explores how our deeply intimate struggles of belonging can inform larger conversations about national identity, notions of home, memory and gender.
Ahmad is a 2016 graduate of the Bachelor’s in Studio Arts and the Honors Art Program at the University of Maryland College Park. Ahmad’s work has also been reviewed in several major publications such as Al Jazeera English, The Washington Post, and The Huffington Post and has been included in multiple collections. She has exhibited internationally— including at the Craft and Folk Art Museum in Los Angeles, the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art in New York, and Queen Mary University in London. Recently, she was awarded an artist fellowship at the Vermont Studio Center, and is the 2019 recipient of the yearlong Next Generation/Sanctuary Artist Fellowship at VisArts in Rockville, MD. She is also a 2019-2020 Halcyon Arts Lab Fellow in Washington DC.
About the Next Generation/Sanctuary Studio Fellowship: The Next Generation/Sanctuary Studio Fellowship provides support for a promising contemporary visual artist who is emerging and/or a recently relocated refugee or asylee. The fellowship includes mentorship, a studio residency of one year, a solo exhibition, opportunities to share and exchange with the public through teaching, workshops, open studio visits, artist talks and a community of artist peers. The mentor will assist the Fellow with the development of creative and professional goals, access to resources and services, navigation of local artist opportunities for the exposure of the Fellow’s work, and exchange of ideas. Currently Fellows are selected through nomination and invitation only.
The Next Generation/Sanctuary Studio Fellow joins a community of artist peers who are part of the VisArts Studio Artist Program. The program provides individual artists or collaborative artist teams with opportunities for creative exploration, professional development, public exchange and critical dialogue in a supportive studio environment. The program is based on generosity, respect and interaction.