Written by Bansie Vasvani
When Adeela Suleman’s work was included in Hanging Fire: Contemporary Art from Pakistan at the Asia Society, New York, in 2009, her curiously inventive use of ready-mades consisting mainly of cooking utensils and household objects to make helmets, skeletal formations, and sculptures inspired intrigue and wonder about her practice. Part feminist, part humorist, and deeply touching, she anticipated a watchful eye towards her development. Subsequently, the Karachi-based Suleman’s beaten metal wall reliefs of bomber jackets and intricate curtains took on iconic forms that were both aesthetically pleasing and invested in reviving a traditional Pakistani handicraft. The work came with a political edginess that was an ironic commentary on the socio-political situation in Pakistan and the trauma of daily life.