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Soraya draws at the London Atelier of Representational Art

Soraya Sikander (London) practicing old masters classical drawings at the London Atelier of Representational Art (LARA).Atelier (Pronounced: atelyay) means studio school, has been for centuries the standard method for training serious fine artists.The atelier system is a highly-structured and systematic curriculum with rigorous representational art education which emerged in the 17th century. Select Soraya Sikander drawings shall be on later during the year. New clutch pencil drawings include: Bargue and Cast drawing and Sight-size method.

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LECTURE: Soraya Sikander TEDx art talk on ‘Images and context- Conditioning in art’

artist soraya sikander's major tedx art talk

soraya sikander ted talk on conditioning and context

Soraya Sikander TEDxNED talk: Ideas worth spreading

Artist Soraya Sikander presents a number of images without any description, outside their context.

These images are threaded together in visual slides and the audience builds these images to shape various associations with the work presented. After reviewing several images by French masters, contemporary installation artists, conceptual and street art the artist provides us with the background information, challenging how we receive art and images and unsettling notions of what we think makes a work a masterpiece.


tedx with artist soraya sikander at ned university


tedx art talk with soraya sikander

World changing ideas come to Pakistan’s premier engineering institution.
In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TED has created a program called TEDx.

TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience.

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EXHIBITION: Soraya Sikander ‘In, At and Around’ Alhamra (2014)

A new approach to landscape painting 'in, at, around'

A new approach to landscape painting 'in, at, around' invite

A new approach to landscape painting 'in, at, around' press release

New approach to paintings on display

She paints landscapes interpretative of her immediate environment where dramatic lighting is conspicuous

In, At, Around exhibition series release and catalogue

Work 'Eclectic and Exuberant' Soraya Sikander exhibition

Diverse and experimental, the works of the young artist Soraya Sikander recently found a receptive audience at Lahore’s Alhamra Art Gallery. While the subject matter may have been conventional in its focus on landscapes, cityscapes and still life, the approach was an attempt to bring a new perspective and verve into these familiar and popular themes


Schehrazade Alam, an artist, said Sikandar’s paintings could qualify as masterpieces.

Salima Hashmi said that Sikandar’s work was impressive.


LAHORE: A solo exhibition titled ‘In, At And Around’ by Soraya Sikandar that opened on Monday at the Alhamra Art Gallery continues to attract visitors.

Soraya Sikandar is a Karachi-based artist. For her current series of paintings on display, she has made use of oil on canvas, watercolour on paper and charcoal/ink drawings.Her work consists of cityscapes that she has chalked out of her own memories from her travels.

Praising her work, Alhamra Art Gallery Curator Tanya Suhail said, “I think it is a very different point of view that Soraya has tried to put forward through her paintings.”

She also said that her paintings represent more contemporary landscapes which is what makes her work so different from other artists doing landscapes.

Her landscapes are interpretative of her immediate environment. Her work employs a dramatic use of lighting and some of them have very vibrant colours. She breaks complex imagery into simple forms and shapes, imbuing it with a sense of dynamism, hence setting her work apart from other landscape artists.

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APPEARENCE: Soraya Sikander is WWF’s Chief Guest

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Three hundred students making artwork on theme: “Humans. Nature. You make the connection” at the Frere Hall, Karachi. Chief guest: Soraya Sikander – Marking her commitment to the environment.

A word on WWF and the NAC: WWF is the largest independent organization working on nature conservation. WWF started work in Pakistan over 40 years ago. WWF-Pakistan has been working committed to providing quality environmental education and interpretation for scientific facts to acknowledge the benefits and values of conserving the natural assets of the country.

WWF-Pakistan is organizing a mega art competition for its registered Green Students across Karachi. The National Art Competition (NAC) aims to excite students’ imagination and creativity through art work geared towards environment oriented themes. This gives students an opportunity to get to know their environment better as well as identifying their role within their communities for a sustainable tomorrow. WWF-Pakistan believes that through this fun activity indelible message about environmental conservation can be interpreted in the minds of youth. WWF has released videos – “We are all connected” (YouTube) which depict how everything is linked so humans are linked in every way so we are trying to get these students to realize how they are connected to nature, depend on it and have responsibility to take care of it as we have a major impact we have on the scarce natural resources that our one and only Earth has provided us with.

Soraya Sikander is a committed environmentalist and through her work creates awareness about the subject.

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PROJECT: Urban Dialogues 2013 with Janice Wilkins and Caroline Jaine (Cambridge)



reduced mood board for 3FF urban dialogue proposal 

Caroline Jaine, Soraya Sikander, Janice Wilkins


The above artists propose working in collaboration in response to the

 Urban Dialogues 2013 theme of “Reflections”

“Becoming Something Else”

We are three diverse women living in the UK and Pakistan aged 29, 43 and 51 who would use the opportunity to reflect on the cultural and religious journeys made by our forefathers (and mothers).

From Cork to the East End

From Poland to Britain

From India to Pakistan

A dilution of Catholicism

A denial of Judaism

A conversion from Hinduism

Becoming non-religious, Christian, Muslim.

And then becoming us.

We would hold a series of sharing/listening sessions across thousands of miles, as each of us researches the past and reflects on the impact on our own identity. This process will be very much part of the collaboration – it may be recorded, documented, celebrated.  We will meet using skype, and although not essential face to face meetings may also be possible as travel between the UK and Pakistan is being considered. A combined aesthetic outcome will be developed through the sessions – it may be a single object, embellished with each of the women’s responses.  It may be simply the presentation of the process and dialogue. Or it may be a presented as a complex set of individual creative responses, woven through the structure of the listening exercises.

Each of us have already worked significantly on the attached mood boards, looking at work, shapes, colours and materials that inspire and some strong individual ideas have emerged. Soraya is motivated to use colour as means to express her cultural identity, Janice looks more sculpturally at objects that hold meaning, whilst Caroline is inspired by the chalk marks made by her ancestor who was a tailor.  For each the use of fabric is a common ground in our work and stories – and yet we want to explore unexpected “conversions” in the use of material.  A shirt from wood?  A shoe of stone?  The juxtaposition of the watery greys of London, the lush greens of Ireland and the vibrancy of India/Pakistan. And each artist enjoys the aesthetic of the hand-written family tree.

The mood boards also contain examples of past work relevant to this proposal.

Although some idea of aesthetics have been discussed, we feel it is important for the process to inform the final presented art-work and would like to leave space for modification, development and even conflict through the journey.  All of us are interested in process and research presented as art.

Caroline and Janice have collaborated creatively before with socially based work, but have never touched on personal or spiritual matters.  Both consider this a major challenge!  Soraya and Caroline have been exchanging emails for about a year.  Both with an interest in how Pakistan is presented to the world, they have been seeking an opportunity to collaborate since they first spoke. Caroline has been engaging with Urban Dialogues for a number of years, primarily through her cross-faith collaborative piece “The Mary Profile Picture” and welcomes the opportunity to work creatively with 3FF.

We believe we offer a strong collaboration of committed, qualified, diverse and experienced artists who will not be afraid to challenge each other. We are applying for this commission to demonstrate how three women from very different backgrounds can operate together – our common ground discovered through creativity, but may be evident elsewhere.  We have stories to tell.

“Becoming Something Else” references both our ancestors cultural and religious journeys, but also allows us through genuine self-reflection to bond – the “something else” being the collaboration and the art that we produce as a result.