From sculp­tures to mak­ing cars, sculp­tor’s works be­come her only fo­cus


From carv­ing mi­cro-scale sculp­tures out of thin lead sticks to mak­ing cars, Fizza Shab­bar works with a com­mit­ment and pas­sion. Dur­ing ev­ery cre­ative ven­ture, she starts living with her works so in­ti­mately that it be­comes her only fo­cus in life.

Since her child­hood, she was in­clined to mak­ing prod­ucts with the help of rough and re­cy­cled ob­jects.

“I was never in­ter­ested in aca­demic ed­u­ca­tion and read­ing books. Dur­ing high school, my only in­spi­ra­tion was a va­ri­ety of fancy and col­or­ful art ma­te­ri­als be­ing used by my el­der sis­ter do­ing her Masters in Graphic De­sign.

“With­out any tech­ni­cal skills of mould mak­ing and cast­ing, I used to make pots by go­ing through a la­bo­ri­ous process of carv­ing out solid blocks of plas­ter,” she re­calls.

Af­ter do­ing her Masters in Fine Arts from An­ju­man-e-Hi­mayat-eIs­lam Col­lege, she started work­ing as an art teacher.

“It was ex­cit­ing ini­tially, but af­ter some time I re­al­ized that a rou­tine was mak­ing my life dull and con­se­quently killing my cre­ativ­ity; so I quit teach­ing and in­dulged my­self with stu­dio prac­tices,” she says.

She works in dif­fer­ent phases with a wide range of ma­te­ri­als, mak­ing hand­bags from rough fab­rics, cre­at­ing pot­tery from pa­per mash, mak­ing jew­elry by re­cy­cling metal­lic bot­tle lids and sculp­tures us­ing clay.

“Ev­ery ma­te­rial has a charm of its own but I got hooked to the rough look of clay. I think it’s one of the best ma­te­ri­als that go with flow of my spon­ta­neous works,” she be­lieves.

Fo­cused on her works and fam­ily, she is not very so­cial and as a re­sult, very poor at sell­ing her ar­ti­facts.

“I am very im­pul­sive and un­or­ga­nized; I keep on work­ing with­out any tar­get or strat­egy to mar­ket or ex­hibit them. Af­ter cre­at­ing a bulk, I sell them at throw­away prices,” she says.

Af­ter a te­dious la­bor of al­most four years, she made a car us­ing a Vespa scooter en­gine af­ter dis­cussing in de­tail all the process and see­ing the doc­u­men­ta­tion of the whole process. Her project was ap­pre­ci­ated and awarded at Pak- Wheels La­hore Auto Show 2015.

“I lost my brother in 2011; he was a car en­thu­si­ast and we used to talk a lot about cars. While go­ing through this agony, I de­cided to make a car. When I dis­cussed the plan with my fam­ily and friends, ev­ery­one would say, “go ahead,” in such a way that they be­lieve, for sure, that I will end up with noth­ing but a piece of junk parked at the backyard of my house.

“Ex­cept for my mother, who trusted my abil­i­ties and she spent a lot of time with me es­pe­cially for go­ing out to car spare-parts mar­ket and buy raw ma­te­ri­als,” she says.

She is grate­ful to the non­co­op­er­at­ing at­ti­tude of me­chan­ics and crafts­men that pushed her to do ev­ery­thing for her­self, from me­chan­i­cal works to ta­pes­try, with her own hands.

“It was hard and la­bo­ri­ous, but a bless­ing in dis­guise that made me learn so many skills,” she says.

Do­ing a job of gallery manager to fi­nance her fu­ture projects, she is cur­rently work­ing on an­other car, us­ing the en­gine of a mo­tor­bike, and do­ing pa­per work to con­vert the or­di­nary bikes into dash­ing sports ve­hi­cles.

She usu­ally gives rough looks to her cre­ations rather than turn­ing them into fin­ished prod­ucts. Even af­ter hav­ing for­mal art ed­u­ca­tion, she is not stuck to any of the art trends. She works by fol­low­ing her own in­tu­itive im­pulses.

With a se­ri­ous ap­proach to­wards her works and sound skills to play with a wide range of ma­te­ri­als, Fizza has the po­ten­tial to make her mark on the art scene of Pak­istan.

Dawn/Asia News Net­work

Sculp­tor Fizza Shab­bar, who is pas­sion­ate about as­sem­blage, stands in front of a car.

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