Artist Nermeen Afzal


Nermeen was born in Pakistan, spent four years in Zimbabwe as a child, and is now living in Bahrain, and the cultures of these countries have inspired her greatly. Her thoughts and emotional state greatly directs her motivation to create artwork, which she hopes reflects peace, hope and freedom.


Some memories last forever and impact your future tremendously. For me, when I look back, I still feel the excitement I felt when I was in sixth grade in Pakistan, when my art teacher told me that my artwork had been selected to represent our school at an art show in London called Asian Children. When my artwork was returned to Pakistan after the exhibition, I was told that it had received a lot of appreciation. That was the moment that I realized I should draw more, and take more interest in art. And so I started to take art classes after school, and slowly learned new techniques, and this motivated me to convince my parents to allow me to take art as major in my A-levels from Lahore Grammar School Pakistan.


Initially I explored watercolours and took deep interest in figures and cultural paintings, and I ended up making realistic life paintings. However, further into the course, we were asked to pick one art movement and research it thoroughly, so I ended up choosing the surrealist movement, initiated by the great artist Salvador Dali. This movement changed the art arena forever; enabling artists to think out-of-the-box and make art open to different interpretations. That was the time I started to look at painting and art not just as life-like images on canvas, but rather as an exploration of what the artist was really trying to say. As my painting style evolved, I was motivated to make more and more surreal and abstract art that have meaning and significance behind them.


Unfortunately I couldn't pursue art as a degree for my bachelors, so I ended up studying Business Administration with a major in International Studies from the University of London in Pakistan. This led me to work in the corporate sector for five years, mostly in human resource and business development. However, although I had a business career, I could not ignore my love and passion for art and I continued getting inspired to paint and produce artworks.


After getting married in 2015, I moved from Pakistan to Bahrain where I realized I had to continue with what has always aspired me in life, and therefore focused more and more on my artwork.


I was born in Pakistan, spent four years as an expat in Zimbabwe as a child, where my father was posted for his job, and now living in Bahrain, and the cultures of these countries have inspired me greatly. I have visited art museums in Barcelona, New York, Sydney and Paris which have also been a source of great inspiration. On top of this, I am also inspired by words; words entice and empower me, and when I think of a word, and then explore what emotions are attached to it, it leads me to delve into endless creative ideas.


I wish I could say that I have a routine and an art process, but my thoughts and emotional state greatly directs my speed and motivation to create artwork. If I have to sum up my art work, I feel it reflects peace, hope and freedom.


I have exhibited in Pakistan (private viewing) after my 'A' levels. In 2017, I exhibited in Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia with a group of artists arranged by Greyart events, and in 2018 at the Akkas gallery in Bahrain.


In the future I want to paint more, take art workshops and explore more creative mediums, as I feel art is a constant learning process. Furthermore, I aspire to stir change in the society by promoting peace through my artwork, and become a renowned artist in the Gulf region. Also, one day, to have my own gallery where, as curator, showcase other emerging artists and their work.


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Nermeen Afzal
Instagram: @nermeenafzal


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