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Can you tell us about your work?

A young artist well-known for her embroidery and watercolour artwork, Faiza Hasan is seen to be one of the promising artistes from the city.

Faiza Hasan’s work is indeed striking. She’s one of the very few in the country who are mixing embroidery with water colours. And that level of detail gives her works a delightful level of intricacy. But she’s all of 26 — In fact it was only in 2014 that she finished her MFA from the University of Hyderabad.

But, she has participated in four group shows, has illustrated books, has been part of a residency and was also part of the prestigious Kochi Biennale as one of the ‘young curators’ in 2014. And she will once again be curating the students’ show in the Kochi Biennale 2016.

Tell us about your experiences as an artist so far. How did you end up in such an offbeat, unconventional and interesting career?

My earliest memory ever was sitting on the floor, by the dining table, my mother by my side teaching me how to mix different colour paints. I grew up in a family that appreciated art, history, language and culture, and was always encouraged by peers and teachers through my school years.

“I enrolled for a Mass Communication course in my under-graduation, but then I realised that I was unhappy, so I joined Jawaharlal Nehru Architecture and Fine Arts University and did my BFA in painting,” says Faiza. What followed that was an MFA in art history, where like her under-graduation, Faiza was once again a gold medalist. Consequently, I was doing residencies, working on curatorial projects and exhibiting my work.

What was your career path after graduation?

“I was chosen as one of the ‘young curators’ for the Kochi Biennale and then I got busy with shows and in the early part of 2015 I had my art residency in Delhi that was keeping me busy,” says Faiza.

Faiza was part of the Khoj International Artists Association, Peers, earlier this year.

She says, “The experience was tremendous. We got to work alongside other young graduates and we also had a mentor.”

The other big project that is currently keeping her busy is the student art show in the Kochi Biennale. “In 2014 I had applied for the young curator’s post and I had to curate the work of students from Hyderabad. We should have an equally good show in 2016 as well,” she says.

Talking about her artwork she says, “Water colours are quite difficult to work with. And over the period of time, I found myself liking embroidery… so I thought why not mix both. And that’s what I’ve been doing,” she says.

In a world where there is competition in every field, Faiza’s struggles are more “day to day”.

She says, “Yes there are bigger struggles, but I feel that the biggest battle you fight is with yourself. The challenge is to make sure that you go to your studio  every single and create something.”

What are your accomplishments that you are most proud of?

In a very narrow sense, my accomplishments could be measured through the residencies that I have done (Khoj Peers 2015, Artists Exchange Residency in Bordeaux 2016), working with the Students’ Biennale in Kochi as a curator for two editions since its inception and exhibiting my work alongside at the Salar Jung Museum and Kalakriti Art Gallery. But, the real accomplishment for me is being able to turn up at my little studio/workspace regularly, keep myself motivated and persevere!

What do you think about the current art scenario in Hyderabad?

Hyderabad has a growing art scene with bigger names beginning to exhibit here, with newer mediums and ideas coming into play. Art schools like the University of Hyderabad and JNAFAU are churning out some interesting young artists and some unusual art practices. All this seems very encouraging.

What are the qualities any youngster should hold on to, to be successful?

Persevere, persevere, persevere! And believe in yourself, especially when things get hard.

As an artist what are the struggles that you can recall?
I think for any artist, right out of art school, the financial struggle is real. I have been fortunate to have been able to work on projects that have paid me to learn and engage with like-minded individuals. But, there is always a conscious effort on my end to balance a few commercial projects along with my work. Another area that I struggle with sometimes, is the inconsistency in the studio either because of the different projects that I have been working on or personal commitments.