Pakistani-American (b. 1969)
Daughter of the East, Plate 1, 2008
six plate aquatint etching with chine collé, dry point, and spit bite
Number 6 in an edition of 30. Plate 1 of 5 from the series Daughter of the East. Numbered in pencil lower left margin: "6/30"; signed and dated in pencil lower right margin: "Ambreen Butt 2008". Published by Wingate Studio. A fine impression in fine condition. Sheet measures 25 x 19 inches.
Daughter of the East is a suite of five prints that is part of a larger series entitled Dirty Pretty, which explores beautiful imagery complicated by difficult narratives. Inspired by a 2007 trip to Pakistan, the artist’s first in twelve years, Daughter of the East is a reaction to the Siege of Lal Masjid, the Red Mosque, in Islamabad. The mosque was a center for conservative teaching of both men and women, where students and clerics exercised radical religious practices leading to clashes with the government. After escalating confrontations between the government and the mosque, the Pakistani Army’s Special Services Group raided the complex, leaving over a hundred dead, two hundred and fifty injured, and fifty captured. The five prints are based on press images of the event and explore the emotional and political complexity of the situation. Butt's women are delicate, violent, vulnerable, and strong all at once. The figures are juxtaposed with intricately rendered lady bugs and flowers, recalling the artist's training in miniature painting. Through the dichotomy of violence and beauty, Butt examines her personal response to the complex events of the siege.
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