Banyans in Germany
These paintings were painted in Germany during the refugee crisis. I was experiencing the 'empty nest syndrome' when my eldest left to study in a university far away. So Banyan became a symbol of 'motherhood'.
The beauty of the banyan is that the mother tree has aerial roots that grow back into the earth and over centuries become trunks. The mother and children are all connected through a wonderful network of branches.
How I wished to be a banyan myself and have my children a part of me forever, but life does not work like that, one has to let our children fly away and come back whenever they want to. My pain was so insignificant compared to the mothers who were losing their children while crossing the Mediterranean. And not to mention the mothers who lost their children in a number of terrorist attacks back home.
Since 2014 when I had moved to Germany, it was a very decisive time there due to the humanitarian crisis.I helped my German friends whenever there was a communication problem with the Afghan or Pakistani refugees as although I am a Pashto speaker I also speak Urdu and Punjabi. The experience reminded me of my work through art with Afghan refugees in Pakistan and the internally displaced IDPs from Kashmir and Swat. This experience of living in two countries Pakistan and Germany greatly enriched my art practice. The experience of living in two worlds, has been the most productive time of my life.