By Jannat Hameed
“The soft texture of wool expresses the mildness and delicateness of women’s nature. Though soft-natured, a woman is blessed with immense power and strength.”
These are the words of emerging young artist Shahina A. Rasheed from the Gwadar City, where women are seldom seen expressing themselves through creative work in the public sphere.
Shahina is striving to create awareness about women’s issues in Gwadar through creating this unique piece of wool art. At 23, her work is inspired by the women of the Gwadar, who continue their struggle for equal rights despite facing multiple barriers.
She finished her graduation in Fine Arts from the University of Balochistan in 2016 where her first ever exhibition was held in the art gallery of Fine Arts Department in January.
“When I was in Gwadar, I used to paint and draw sketches. I started my journey as a fine arts student in 2011 from the University of Balochistan and recently completed my thesis in thread work,” Shahina told PakVoices.
She believes that many women artists of Balochistan have the potential to compete at the international level but they do not get equal opportunities to showcase their creativity.
Shahina has weaved the stories of vulnerable through wool, making a strong case for women’s emancipation from the tribal customs that still hold them back.
Shahina plans to exhibit her work in Art Gallery of Cultural Department, Quetta and later in Rural Community Development Council (RCDC) club, Gwadar. But she would need the support of the Government in order to organize events at a large scale.
Shahina has not only described women’s natural beauty through colors of wool but also shown an empowered woman who is an indispensable part of this society.
“In our society, women are considered weak and helpless. As a result, they are taken granted and subjected to torture everywhere.”
She continued, “In my work, I showed the unlimited power of women by spreading wool colors out of canvas. This is to motivate women to think across the boundaries and know her hidden power.”
Shahina is determined to pursue higher studies in the wool art with a focus on the struggle of Baloch women.
Jannat Hameed is working with PakVoices as a citizen journalist from Gwadar city.
Edited by Hasan Khan