Zarina Hashmi talks about a life mapped through art



 Zarina Hashmi left India in 1958. Around the same time, her family were subject to relocation from Delhi to Karachi following the partition of India and Pakistan. Consequently exile and the loss of the family home are embedded in her work, whose spare visual vocabulary often evokes physical and psychological spaces relating to memories of childhood and later life.

Letters from Home 2004 is a set of woodcuts in which handwritten letters from her sister Rani are overlaid by maps and floorplans that represent the artist’s travels and places where she has lived. The Urdu text signals Hashmi’s abiding relationship to her native tongue as well as an entire linguistic culture ruptured by partition.