Nilofer Suleman

Nilofer Suleman approaches her paintings in the spirit of a storyteller, crafting episodic visual narratives that evoke the style of a collage. Her work is a reflection of the technique employed by the Mughal, Rajput, Pahari and Adilshahi artisans, whose composite creations were a comment on the multi-dimensionality and cultural diversity of their world. Suleman’s work is a kaleidoscope of artistic forms, ranging from demotic movie posters, signboards and graffiti, to the more austere temple and court paintings. The characters in her works are inspired from the miniature traditions, each displaying a poignant ancestry--some have the almond eyes favoured by Mughals, others, the further eyes of the eastern folk deities. Significantly, there is no hierarchy in Suleman’s attention to her various sources of inspiration--the classical and the vernacular coexist in extravagant multiplicity. Employing her knowledge of cartography, Suleman now maps out the more illusionistic terrains of family memory, travelers’ tales, and sensory excitements. A recurring theme in her work is the bioscope, the precursor to the modern movie camera, which Suleman treats as a metaphor for how art can offer audiences a glimpse into a distant and secret world.