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Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art

Malikas – Pages from the Past, 1980s–90s
Re-visited in 2017, re-drawn 2018

Drawing on wallpaper, audio cassettes
Digital prints on photo rag paper, 28 x 43 cm
(Original notebook: collage and graphite on paper, 30 x 20 cm, 1990s)


Amina Ahmed (1964) is a visual artist, educator and activist of Kutchi Turk Indian heritage. Born in East Africa, she grew up in England and has lived in Iran and the USA. Ahmed received her MFA from the Royal College of Art (1991), where she specialized in Visual Islamic and Traditional Arts. Her projects are inspired by her interests in human rights and coalition-building. Ahmed is a board member for the Muslim Women’s Institute for Research and Development and is on the advisory boards of Zanbeel Arts, Twelve Gates Gallery and Women’s Voices Now. Her work has been exhibited in the USA, South Asia and Europe. Ahmed presently lives in New York.


“It’s the lines and the shapes, the patterns and the rhythms, the repetitions, the obsessions. Encountering Amina Ahmed’s drawings and paintings is to enter a universe that is attuned to the symbolic meaning, necessity perhaps, of making marks. Where technical virtuosity marries the constant questioning of the meaning of the very acts the maker is involved with. Where formal and stylistic manipulations work in concert with ideas about symbolic associations to fashion the freestanding work. Where every detail is in tune with the overall vision, facilitated by the process at work: pencils are all sharpened and ready to go; the paint – derived from pigments and having gone through its own process of grinding – in place awaiting its maker. As much a quest as an artistic-artisanal endeavour, where formal challenges, the history of art and age-old philosophical preoccupations converge to fuse metaphysical concerns with the limits and possibilities afforded by materials and techniques.”

–    Amir Parsa, poet, Chair of Pratt Institute’s Art and Design Education, and former director of the Museum of Modern Art’s Alzheimer’s Project, on Amina Ahmed’s work.