Art as Flirtation and Surrender...
In your light I learn how to love. In your beauty, how to make poems. You dance inside my chest, where no one sees you, But sometimes I do, and that sight becomes this art. - Rumi
Art connects cultures and communities without boundaries defining an uplifting spirit of how we learn from each other. It allows us to appreciate the diversity of thoughts and ideas without words and judgments. We all have our connection with art which facilitates drawing a conclusion based on our unique perception, says Nikhat Qureshi. Born in Pakistan, Nikhat moved to Montreal, Canada to join her husband in 2003. Later they moved to Dallas Texas. She is a law graduate with a post-graduation certificate in Dispute Resolution and Conflict Management while also possessing an artistic talent. She began drawing and painting ever since she was a child. Her family noticed her artistic ability at the age of 6 when she made a live sketch of her pet dog. Since then her parents always encouraged Nikhat to continue her hobby. Without having any formal education in fine arts, she participated in group exhibitions in Pakistan. Her paintings contain such diversity, from beautiful landscapes, to Islamic Calligraphy. Painting inspirations and reflections, she takes her creativity as a means to express her connection with a soulful world. A self-taught, award-winning visual Artist & Calligrapher, her passion for calligraphy is driven by the religious writings and poetic texts composed artistically. As an explorer of Islamic Art, she studied the basics of the Nastaliq script of Calligraphy under the tutelage of a calligraphy master from Pakistan and Thuluth Script from the master calligrapher in Canada. With her contemporary approach, she enjoys combining traditional styles and techniques of writing scripts. She finds it as permission to explore the art of Calligraphy with the freedom to conceive an immaculate connection with The Truth (Divine). This sacred art of writing requires a lifetime to master however she likes sharing the knowledge at any stage of her learning. She continued to paint whenever she felt inspired however she wanted to find a way to express her creativity and share it with the community. That is when she found a way to combine her artistic ability with the spirit of working for the community. She served as the volunteer program director for Islamic Art Revival Series from 2012-2014 in Dallas Tx, whose dual mission is to bring awareness and exposure to Islamic Art and to build cultural bridges between the Islamic world and North America. In 2016 her work received The Rosemary Cheney Outstanding Collage Award by the Richardson Civic Art Society at the 50th annual Juried art exhibition in TX. After living in Dallas for ten years she moved back to Canada in 2016. She started sharing her artwork with the local community in Vancouver and reached out to local artists and art groups to explore opportunities to come together and promote education in the arts of the Islamic world within the Muslim community and beyond to encourage a cross-cultural exchange of art and art-related activities. Since 2017 she has conducted several of the basics of Arabic calligraphy workshops for beginners. She worked with the National Art Gallery of Alberta, City of Surrey, City of Vancouver, Vancouver Biennale, and, the City of Richmond, hosting community events to invite people of all ages to experience the arts of Islamic World first hand. In 2018 with a group of local Muslim art enthusiasts she formed the BC Muslim Art House. The Welcome Ramadan and Celebrate Eid 2019 was a successful community event at the Richmond Public Library in May 2019, the event was attended by 700 plus people from all around the metro Vancouver and received great appreciation. She established the Islamic Art of British Columbia in 2019 and initiated a community arts program in collaboration with Muslim Food Bank a local non-profit organization. She was invited to exhibit her work at the history-making celebratory event to mark October as the Islamic History Month hosted by the BC Government at the Hall of Honour inside the Legislature. She presented an exclusive painting titled, "O Canada" to the premier of British Columbia, Mr. John Horgan featuring major Islamic centers in different parts of Canada celebrating Canada’s diversity, multiculturalism, freedom, discipline, inclusion, unity, and peace. Her work has been exhibited in Pakistan, USA, and Canada. Nikhat believes that the most selfless way to make a difference in the world is to serve as a volunteer. With her art, she supports social justice and raise awareness about causes such as gendercide, domestic violence, literacy, and sexual abuse. Nikhat experiments with different mediums and try new ideas. To her, the element of unpredictability in life is what keeps us on the edge of curiosity. She says, "though I am not a big fan of suspense but I love surprises. To that end I enjoy working with Oil, Acrylic, Ink, Wood, Canvas, Paper, stamping and all that glitters."
Nikhat is also a fashion and lifestyle enthusiast, love traveling and is currently residing in Richmond BC, Canada