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Sabahat Quadri Works

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About Me

My Artist’s Statement

I spent my formative years as a nomad, bouncing between Africa, Europe, and the Middle East until I was twelve and we made one last move. Home was eventually Karachi, Pakistan. Karachi is where I grew up and made friends who remained in touch for more than a year. It’s where I scrounged for coins when I was broke and brought home a shiny red car and driver when I was successful. It’s where I buried my mother and my father, where I got married and divorced. It’s where I eventually took refuge after COVID took away my brother.

Karachi is where I shut myself up while I dealt with innumerable losses—parents, brother, beloved pets—and where I recovered my soul.

Painting was a way to fill empty hours in an empty house full of memories. Over the years of lockdown and remote working, it’s become a way to observe and document the people, places, and moments that make Karachi what it is; from the ever-present crows to the mobile stores, the motorcycles, the rickshaws, the dirty streets, the street food, the powerlines, the makeshift ingenuity of small businesses, the monsoons, the dust, the ancient trees and architecture, the men, women, and children that seek shelter against a relentless sun and teeming humanity.

I’ve been writing about Karachi for many years, but now I’m also painting it. Karachi is the overcrowded, sprawling, beating heart of Pakistan and I love living here.