Creative Spotlight | Amber Hammad

Published on 28 September 2021


Amber-Hammad-1.png Tell us a bit about who you are and what kind of creative work you make
I am a contemporary artist and practice-based researcher, born and raised in Lahore, Pakistan. I use various media and techniques including painting, drawing, photography, sculpture, performance, and video to create art works. My work often involves self-portraiture and appropriation. I have Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in art, and am in the process of finishing my second masters – a Masters in Fine Arts from UNSW. I have taught art at universities overseas and have exhibited my works at various prestigious venues across the globe, including Museo Poldi Pezzoli and Diocesano Museum of Milano in Italy, Apexart in New York andDevi Art Foundation in India.Amber-Hammad-2.png

How does your personal history, culture or experience inform your creative work?
My experiences of being a Muslim woman, who has lived within both patriarchal Muslim and Islamophobic cultures, inform my creative practice. For the last two decades, I have been addressing the representation and misrepresentation of female body, connected with ideas of visibility and invisibility, from my subjective feminist point of view.

Are there any special processes, techniques or tools you use to make your creative work?
Amber-Hammad-3.png After the conception of an idea, I often start with collecting references, including photos, texts, and objects. I continually read, write, draw and heavily rely on Photoshop to sketch out my ideas in the form of rough collages that lead the way to the formation of more coherent works.

What’s your favourite part of working as an artist / creative?
My creative works are part of the process of my efforts to understand the world I live in through understanding my own self, and vice versa. I love the joy and freedom to investigate these ideas through a creative process. 

Amber-Hammad-4.png What’s the most challenging part of working as an artist / creative?
When I announced my decision of choosing art as a career, my father said to me that becoming an artist meant that every aspect of one’s life becomes a piece of art. I personally feel that the most challenging part of working as an artist is also the most rewarding and most fun simultaneously – that working as an artist is not a job, it is a way of life.

Do you have any rituals or routines that help you to be more creative?
Amber-Hammad-5.png I absolutely love learning new things. Whenever I have a chance, I enrol myself in short courses or take lessons for random things. I also love nature and going for walks, especially by the ocean. It is often during moments of being engrossed in one of these walks when I get most ideas about new works.

Do you have any top tips for emerging artists and creatives just starting out?
Keep reminding yourself of the reasons why you wanted to become an artist. Stay close to those reasons.

Where can we find out more about your work and get in touch?

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