WORK by REZIA WAHID
Rezia is a contemporary weaver, educator and curator who specialises in handweaving. She uses weaving as a way to explore her background and heritage as a valuable part of her British Asian identity.
Rezia’s experience, particularly after graduation, led her to question why craft is considered less valuable and why weaving for women is relegated to the domestic sphere. These are factors that persuaded her to challenge such stereotypes and become a professional weaver.
Rezia researches fine natural yarns and natural dyes from different parts of the world. Her artistic practice explores the benefits and natural therapeutic properties of weaving, the stories it tells, and how it can forge transnational connections. And blurs art, craft with poetic aesthetics.
Sunset on Snow
Sunset on Snow
‘Sunset on Snow’ resembles her signature work of gossamer-light woven cloths that evoke imagery and imaginaries of ‘air’, ‘peace’ and ‘tranquillity’. In its breadth, depth and combination of ideas as well as their sensual and visual aspects, her work has been described as being ‘like an anthology of poetry’ (Denis May).
Organzine, spun and gummed silks and filament are her preferred choice of yarn. Through much research and experimentation, she found them to capture light and air. Rezia says:
‘my creative and personal artistic voice was born from finding a field full of dandelion seeds during a walk in the greens of Farnham [Surrey]. When I walked into the delicate, ethereal and tranquil moment with the magic of air and light, I knew that I wanted to capture this feeling in my weaving.’
While playing with natural imagery, her yarn and craft are sustainably sourced and environmentally friendly. All yarns are hand-dyed mostly with natural dye stuff.
Rezia’s works showcasing handloom weaving traditions from South Asia bear the marks and aesthetics of labour, displacement, and migration. Her cloth pieces showcase the significance of the sewing machine that sustains domestic creativity and incomes of many female migrant artists.
Ikat Scarf Being Danced With
Ramadan Light Installation
Rezia says: ‘Feelings can only be written, heard or explained. So, I decided to write the words in my sketchbook, captured the seeds in a clear container - and this is how I began to write and express thoughts, feelings and stories with yarns!’
Rezia strongly feels that diasporic artists need to be included in the mainstream art world on an equal platform - not in one-off or tokenistic activities, but as a core and lead part of events and exhibitions.
Join Rezia in her talk on what it means to be a female weaver in Britain where, on the one hand, the creative work has been distanced from the mainstream arts sector, and on the other hand, diasporic works are marginalised from UK craft circles.
For further details on Rezia’s work, see Weaving Light: Writers and Poets on the Woven Art of Rezia Wahid MBE, Hesterclock Press, edited by Khalid Nurul Hakim.