Shemza began his artistic career in Lahore, Pakistan, as a painter and writer. He moved to London in 1956. Feeling displaced in Britain, he stopped making figurative paintings. Instead he began studying Islamic art from different periods, in search of what he called his ‘own identity’. He started creating compositions that fused calligraphy and aspects of Mughal architecture with European abstract art. He commented: ‘I am much more aware of my own art heritage now than I ever was in Pakistan. You only become aware of the things you lose.’
Gallery label, January 2019
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