Fawzia Khan  
Abstract ~ Landscape ~ Figurative ~ Floral ~ Glass ~ Textile ~ Sculpture
Art Resources Gallery

Fawzia Khan

As an immigrant, I have a desire to connect with people in order to establish roots and a sense of belonging. Born to Pakistani parents and raised in Nigeria, I moved to the United States at age twelve. The immigrant experience and adapting to a new culture strengthened an already strong desire to help others. I chose to follow my mother's path by becoming a physician. After three years of practicing obstetrics and gynecology, my own child was born, and my priorities changed. A career in art was never at the forefront of my thoughts, but making things has always been a part of my life. Going back to school to take classes in art opened my eyes to a new way of looking at the world. As my appreciation for different movements of art grew, so my perspective on life became more nuanced.

For me, art must balance two elements, form and content. While much of contemporary art today uses modern techniques of fabrication including 3D scanning and printing, in my practice, I embrace hand-craftsmanship. Design, material and technique combine to achieve a well-crafted form that best embodies the second element, content. My current body of work, entitled Birdbrains, arose from my reflections on themes of safety, patriotism and economic and physical security, all issues that have become prevalent in American society since September 11, 2001 and its subsequent events. Rather than offer answers, I reflect back situations to provoke questions about our responses to the terrorist attacks on our country. The forms were cast in bronze and aluminum from hand-carved basswood originals. The bright patinas seen on many of the birds reflect our society's sunny optimism, more than occasional superficiality and willingness to avoid the sometimes painful realities of our present world. The irony or humor present in the work provides a necessary balance to the serious subject matter, and is reflected in the title, which raises questions about the effectiveness of our responses. Multiples allow me to represent the larger society made up of individuals and depict trends and patterns (behavioral or otherwise) visually.

As a physician, I valued the connections that I made with my patients. As an artist, I have found that art creates an ongoing multidimensional dialogue between the viewer and me, which is a more interactive bond than I enjoyed with my patients.