Location: Preston, Lancashire
Education: University of Central Lancashire (BA Hons Fine Art), UAL Chelsea College of Arts (MA Fine Art)
Azraa Motala is a North-West based artist and recent graduate from the Chelsea College of Arts. She creates conceptual representational work which relates to herself as a young British-Asian Muslim woman within the contemporary Western space. She seeks to untangle culturally inherited expectations, and the overlapping aspects of her identity; providing an intimate narrative on the many cultural blankets making up the social stratum. Utilising both photography and painting to self represent in a society where the bodies of South Asian and Muslim women are often considered pawns in political discourse. Essentially empowering and uplifting women of colour through work which touches upon the mutual struggles of many second and third generation immigrants.
About the work
Azraa is inherently interested in the way in which women from the diaspora have been represented in both the past and the present day. Parts of the diasporic image not only centres around remembered or imagined pasts and places but also projected futures, through clothing she is not only negotiating the tensions of a double heritage but bringing forward a new material heritage of hybridity. Through large scale oil paintings, she seeks to re-appropriate the image of the Eastern woman as it was depicted in orientalist paintings from the 18th and 19th centuries; essentially adopting the same medium to portray opposing imagery.