One of my favorite painters, Ayesha Durrani, makes masterful and exquisite use of the dress form as a metaphor for Pakistani women and their position in society. She uses the traditional techniques of marbling, gold leaf, and gouche on wasli paper that have been used for centuries for manuscript illuminations and miniatures to make very contemporary paintings that are accessible on a global level. She’s used the dress form from her days of fashion study as a feminie stand in for the faceless, the voiceless, and the dispossessed. Her dress forms are enveloped by masses of roses, halos of gold, mists of marbling, bound with twine and artfully vivisected for careful consideration of their complex meanings. For more insight into Ayesha Durrani’s work there are several great interviews with her online, one by Swapna Varna: www.asianart.com/articles/vora/durrani/index.html and another by Lavina Melwani: www.lassiwithlavina.com/art/ayesha-durrani’s-women/html and she is represented by Aicon Gallery: http://www.aicongallery.com/artists/ayesha-durrani/.
Ayesha Durrani’s Dress Forms