Humaira Abid. Photo courtesy of Bellevue Arts Museum

Bellevue Arts Museum’s ‘Searching for Home’ exhibit set to open

  • Friday, September 15, 2017 11:00am
  • Life

This fall, Bellevue Arts Museum will present “Searching for Home,” the first solo museum exhibition for Seattle-based, Pakistan-born artist Humaira Abid.

Abid is well known for her bold, symbolically rich, and meticulously realized wood sculptures and miniature paintings. Her work demonstrates a fearless approach to tackling cultural norms, gender roles, and relationships, often with an ironic edge. “Searching for Home” will premiere never-before seen works by the artist, created following months of research and interviews with refugee women who have been resettled in both the Pacific Northwest and Pakistan from nations including Somalia, Syria, and Afghanistan.

The exhibition will construct a narrative through seven “stations,” or installations, that take viewers on a “search for home.” For the refugee, the concept of “home” belongs to the past and, hopefully, the future; the present, however, is trapped in limbo, focused on survival. At the center of this discussion is the plight of female refugees and their difficult journeys. These crossings often separate families and create a longing for the comfort of home and security of the domestic domain. For many, the success of the search is dependent on the implements that facilitate survival along the route, and the intermittent signs of hope that light the way forward. This, Abid’s most narrative and expansive undertaking to date, involves the intricately detailed yet confrontational imagery that forms the basis of her work.

Humaira Abid trained in Lahore, Pakistan, at the National College of Arts. Her unique course of study focused on the disciplines of traditional miniature painting and sculpture. Abid’s career-long decision to specialize in the material of wood, a typically male-dominated field, reflects her commitment to challenging stereotypes. In her work, the artist combines these seemingly incompatible mediums to create compelling works that translate the world of prosaic objects into exquisitely carved sculpture. Almost always working with a 1:1 scale, the beauty of these carvings of seemingly benign items belies the violence, cruelty, upheaval, and instability in society, especially those to which women are subject.

Ultimately, Abid harnesses her artistic vision and facility to demonstrate how these highly developed art forms of portraiture and sculpture, for generations the exclusive domain of the nobility and the elite classes, can evoke empathy and mobilize the viewer to action by focusing on the most dehumanizing and destabilizing human experiences taking place in our world, in the present time.

Humaira Abid’s “Searching for Home” is organized by Bellevue Arts Museum and guest curated by Jennifer-Navva Milliken.

Abid’s artwork featured in “Searching for Home” at the Bellevue Arts Museum starting Sept. 22. Photo courtesy of Bellevue Arts Museum

More in Life

Newport High School drama presents ‘Beauty and the Beast’

Performance will run Jan. 12 through Jan. 20 in Bellevue.

Ruby and Ragnar available for adoption in Bellevue

Meet Ruby, a 6-year-old German Shepherd, who would love to be your… Continue reading

Bellevue’s Kindering celebrates the holidays

In 2016, Kindering reported helping more than 4,000 families

Bellevue community celebrates Snowflake Lane this holiday season

Produced and presented by The Bellevue Collection and the Kemper Freeman family,… Continue reading

International Ballet Theatre’s “Nutcracker” on through Dec. 22

Production of classic Christmas ballet is Eastside tradition

W Bellevue insider: 12 holiday tips

W Bellevue’s Insider, Julia Amodt, offers her top seasonal tips for those… Continue reading

First Santa photography business continues to capture his magic within the community

Arthur & Associates Holiday Photographers claims to be the first to take portraits of children with department store Santas.

Newport, Bellevue jazz bands to perform ‘The Nutcracker Suite’

For the first time ever, the jazz bands from Newport and Bellevue… Continue reading

Kirkland Holiday Art Market opens this week | The Eastside Scene

Kirkland Arts Center will be hosting a Holiday Art Market featuring local… Continue reading

Tabletop game enthusiasts to convene for OrcaCon in Bellevue

Hundreds of people have already signed up to participate in a geeky… Continue reading