We’re delighted to introduce Tasneem Dairywala, another one of our talented Northbound Gallery Program Artists! 

Tasneem is a new-generation emerging artist living and working in North York. Her work is inspired by her role as an art educator, her training at OCAD University, and traditional Pakistani art aesthetics.

Keep reading to learn more about Tasneem’s art process and her upcoming exhibition, Metamorphic Reflections

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your arts practice.

For me, art has always played an important role in understanding and decoding the complexity of human identities and relationships. In the last year, I have gotten more involved in my community, Flemingdon Park, as an artist and educator, and have started to collaborate with community members to create art. This has strengthened my belief in art’s power to break through social isolation and overcome the ethnocultural boundaries that divide us. 

Describe Metamorphic Reflections and your processes behind each portrait.

Metamorphic Reflections is a series of portrait paintings inspired by stories of Toronto residents from diverse demographics. Each painting is started through a question that encourages interviewees to self-reflect on how they define and value themselves. The photos taken during these interactions capture the subjects’ expressions as they speak and serve as inspirations for the paintings. The life-sized portraits are painted on mirrors and aim to capture the subjects’ presence and aura as they share their stories. 

What was your thought behind using mirrors as a medium?  

I wanted to paint on mirrors so that viewers could see other people’s portraits changing because of their reflections, changing how they see themselves and others. 

What do you hope people take away from the exhibition?

Through this installation, I hope to have viewers think about the similarities between themselves and the painted individuals, why it is so uncomfortable to connect with people and have meaningful conversations, and what can we do to overcome this discomfort and the social isolation it causes.

Metamorphic Reflections will be on display at the Toronto Centre for the Arts from September 25 – November 24, 2019. The exhibit will be open to the public Tuesday – Friday from 1-6 PM. For more information, click here.

Interview by: Rachel Birnberg

Development and Communications Coordinator