‘From Jinnah to Zia’; ‘Back to the Future’; ‘Et tu Brute?’ and ‘The Grass is Always Greener’ are works mostly situated in books, where the images, text and the act of intervention along with the painted fragment go on to form a context. The miniature painting techniques support the delicate surface of the book, especially due to their antiquity and the techniques with archival qualities allow the finesse required to create the illusion of bringing the book, text and painted surface together as real. The books engage notions of identity, ownership, memory and erasure and connotations are raised by the mere act of intervention and manipulation, particularly in the context of a Pakistani political past which goes on to inform our future as it accumulates. It seeks to make the past look so real and so close that one can almost reach out and touch it and challenge the apparent interpretation by painting the image as a chance occurrence—that necessitates the choice of medium and the use of books in all paintings and disturbs the boundaries of the real and the imitated.

Madiha Sikandar holds a BFA in Miniature Painting from the National College of Arts, Pakistan. She currently works as the Sub-Editor for ‘The News’. Hailing from a family of doctors and surgeons, Madiha’s drawing skills were considered an asset for a surgeon! She never imagined her practice would be what it is today. It has become inevitable to paint the life she lives. Bomb blasts, target killings and the superficial, forced and paralyzing three days of mourning that follow, were exasperating. She feels privileged as an artist that she can vent her emotions through her work.