Anam Feerasta is a Pakistani-Canadian artist based in Toronto. She works primarily with acrylic and oil paints on canvas and plexiglass. Anam explores oscillating feelings of fragmentation and alignment that are intimately tied to her identity and Pakistani upbringing - feelings that she believes are universal.
Anam depicts women’s bodies in abstract worlds to create spaces for women like herself to question self-knowledge, share their stories, and reclaim their identities. These bodies allude to fragmented identities and to the multiplicity of an identity resulting from gender-biased expectations. Anam’s practice is inspired by collage, patterns, mythology, spirituality, family, and childhood memories of home.
She recently graduated from OCAD University with a BFA in Drawing and Painting with distinction. Anam also holds a B.A. in Economics and International Development from McGill University. She has exhibited her work in Toronto and Pakistan. Recent group shows include Fresh Paint and New Construction 18 th Edition at Galerie Art Mur in Montreal (2022); Online Toronto Outdoor Art Fair (2022); GradEx 107 (2022), Blueprint for a Collective Home (2022) and Bodies in Fleeting Reality (2021) at OCAD University in Toronto; Less than Perfect at La Villa in Lahore (2020); Less than Perfect at Hamail Art Gallery in Lahore (2019).
Q: DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE COLOR PALETTE TO WORK WITH?
A: I don’t really have a specific colour palette that I work with, but I do tend to gravitate towards brighter tones and blue. Ultramarine blue is my favorite colour and it shows up in a lot of my works. Colour application is very intuitive, and the painting process is much like being in conversation with the painting surface. Each artwork has a mind of its own and if you are present, it tells you what colour it needs.
Q: HOW DO YOU KNOW WHEN A WORK OF ART IS COMPLETE?
A: When creating a work, I think it’s important to distinguish between what the work needs and what you as the artist want the work to embody. If these two ideas are aligned, then you just know when you’ve arrived at a place where adding anything more to the artwork will only take away from what you’re trying to express. I’ve often been in a position where what I want from the painting is at odds with what the painting wants to become, and in those times, it is definitely a struggle to find that point of completion in the work.
Q: WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO YOU TO BE A PART OF KISMET ART CO.?
A: I believe in the values Kismet Art Co. stands for and I feel excited and honoured to be a part of this very unique initiative. It means that through my work and by sharing my experiences as a South Asian artist, I can contribute to the change that Kismet Art Co. is trying to make in the art world. I am also looking forward to the potential opportunity for future collaborations with a community of artists who share similar values and experiences.