Exhibition Things to do
Works Feedback
Durriya KAZI Pakistan b.1955
United Kingdom b.1957
YUSUF PAINTER collaborated on making images on the cabinet
PARVEZ collaborated on the painting
Kazi -Alesworth Kazi-Alesworth
Very very sweet medina (Home sweet home) 1999 (detail)
Mixed media including wood, synthetic polymer paint, glitter perspex, wheels, speakers, tube lights, fairy lights, stickers, folders, paper
Dimensions: Cabinet: 146 x 46 x 46cm; Painting: 183 x 183cm
Purchased 1999.
Queensland Art Gallery Foundation
Collection: Queensland Art Gallery

Reproduced by permission of the artists

About the work
Very very sweet medina (Home sweet home) looks at how ideas about home, migration, family and art intersect.

The coastal city of Karachi may be thought of as giving a microcosmic view of Pakistan. The majority of its population migrated from India at the time of the partition of the sub-continent in 1947. This phenomenon - the migration of a large community - is a persistent motif in Muslim history. The first in this sequence of events was the migration of the Prophet Muhammad from Mecca to Medina in order to find a safe haven for himself, his followers and his ideas.

The title of the work Very very sweet medina (Home sweet home) alludes to this migration, which is regarded as the most significant event in Muslim history - the Islamic calender begins from the date of the migration.

The image of a home, an ideal home, is familiar. Yet the home need not be confined to a collection of built spaces. Instead, it is an embroidery of hopes and dreams and family relationships. However, the idea of home can also exist as a place of desire.

In the painting component of Very very sweet medina, the truck artist Parvez paints his imagined archetype of an Australian child in his garden. The cabinet is illustrated with African safaris and other adventures of which a child might dream.

About the artists
Durriya Kazi David Alesworth Durriya Kazi and David Alesworth live and work in Karachi, Pakistan. Both have degrees in sculpture from the United Kingdom and produce work in collaboration as well as maintaining individual practices. Since the 1990s, these artists have worked together on a series of works exploring participation and collaboration with a range of other practitioners - such as billboard painters and tailors - who make work that is part of an urban popular culture.
Durriya Kazi David Alesworth

Kazi and Alesworth's work crosses borders about authorship and community, and draws on the dynamism of popular culture to investigate definitions of cultural production. Often their work includes an interactive element such as asking the visitor to write recollections of home.

Other lines to follow for Durriya Kazi and David Alesworth
Durriya KAZI, David ALESWORTH and the Karachi School of Art
Art caravan 1994
Painted Bedford truck
Photo courtesy the artists

'I think you have to distinguish between sculpture as defined by the art gallery and the rich activity of 'making' which exists all over Pakistan. The so-called classical languages of art grew from skills that were in common practical use: metal, wood, stone, dyes, writing implements. In order to renew the severed links of art to everyday life, we must look into those contemporary skills that have the capacity to become art. In a changed and changing society these skills break the weak barriers between gender, class (and thus taste), and technology. Embroidery, computers, fluorescent tape or plastic as urban skills of our time are equally valid materials as bronze, oils or acrylic were in theirs. If we continue to use traditional materials it is only because they still are in use not simply because they are traditional.'

Durriya Kazi quoted in Beyond the Future: The Third Asia-Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art, Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane, 1999, p.206.

Top QLD Art Gallery