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Heads and Heat

6 Apr

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I’m in Pakistan at the start of a residency in the Zaira Zaka print studio, working with artists Hannah Lawson from the UK and Zaira Ahmad from Pakistan. More artists will join us later. We went to the Taxilan ruins yesterday, a Buddhist shrine a couple of hours drive away. The weather was lovely; we walked around the site in brilliant sunshine in 32 degrees C! Buddhist pilgrims come from all over the world and there were loads of tourists there yesterday as well. There is a very large stupa and the remains of an advanced community along with an excellent museum which safeguards the artifacts that were excavated. These include Greek, Aramaic and Christian ceramics, coins, jewellery and even early Christian crosses, predating Roman Christianity. I had a quick scribble and drew these heads into my little spotty sketchbook.

Later, we visited another ancient site with the remains of the very first Buddhist monastery alongside a Sufi holy place which is still in use. There’s a tendency in the West to think that Pakistan is a hard-line Islamic state, but we saw great respect for other religions on our travels, with care and concern to preserve the ancient culture of the area which has a history of Buddhism and Christianity as well as Islam.

This residency has been supported by Wales Arts International and Arts Council Wales

rose acw

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