Professor Risham Syed, Head of Fine Arts, School of Visual Arts & Design was in Dubai where her solo show opened at the prestigious Jameel Art Center on the 7th of December 2022 and will be on till 14th of May 2023. The exhibition presents Risham Syed’s work The Seven Seas, (2012), a series of large scale quilts where the artist connects the intricacies of contemporary geopolitics with the 19th and early 20th Century cotton trade of the British Empire. With fabric sourced from travels to Turkey, Bangladesh, the U.A.E, Sri Lanka, U.K., India and within her native Pakistan, Syed weaves the history of the location-specific craft of textile production with tales of political resistance. All her quilts depict 20th-century maps of various port cities that were strategically located on the colonial European trade route such as Izmir in Turkey, Kandy in Sri Lanka, Mumbai in India, and Ras al-Khaimah in the U.A.E. Apart from being trade gateways, these cities were also sites of resistance and rebellion against imperial powers. Each quilt is made by combining a variety of techniques, wherein the stitching and layering of fabric echo the layering of historical and post-colonial narratives. Risham Syed received a BFA in Painting from the National College of Art, Lahore (1993) and an MA from the Royal College of Art, London (1996).