Nazia Parvez is a Pakistani-born British artist and writer, raised in London, and currently based in Austin, TX. After graduating, she moved to NYC for five years to pursue a career in architecture. She subsequently embarked on a trans-Saharan journey, traveling by road from London to West Africa, realizing a long-held ambition and forging an enduring connection with the desert. She lived in Sierra Leone for several years where she worked across other creative disciplines including photojournalism and documentary film. Her multidisciplinary background also includes consulting, research and service design. She holds Master’s degrees in Architecture, Urban Studies, and Design for Interactive Media.
Her professional and life experiences are informed by living, working and traveling in different places and contexts: from Europe and the US, to Africa, Asia and S. America. Together, these experiences have contributed to her emerging art practice that encompasses different media and technologies — from sculpture and photography, to VR and interactive installations — and a general curiosity about the world.
I’m inspired to create as a way of *seeing/ *learning/ *understanding/ *experiencing/ *engaging/ with the world. My work spans installation and mixed media, VR and generative AI.
I’m fascinated by the animating quality of natural light and its power to transform an otherwise inert object, space or landscape into something transcendent — as though by some magical transfiguration. Each experience of light is rooted in specificity and time, as no two occurrences are ever the same. I’m interested in exploring how light shapes our perceptions and memories, and our experience of ‘being’ in the world.
“I sense Light as the giver of all presences, and material as spent Light. What is made by Light casts a shadow, and the shadow belongs to Light.” Louis Kahn
As more of our daily lives metamorphose into solely digital and remote interactions, I’m curious about the nexus between the physical and digital domains. I’m exploring how this connection affects our embodied experience and changes the physical spaces we inhabit, especially those based on shared beliefs — and conversely, on how an analog to public space is constituted in the digital realm and its influence on the enactment of myth and ritual.
“In time […] the Cartographers Guilds struck a Map of the Empire whose size was that of the Empire, and which coincided point for point with it.” Borges
My architectural background continues to have a strong influence in how I approach projects. I’m interested in Architecture in its broadest sense, as a practice that not only defines space/place, but also transcribes time, meaning, myth and metaphor. I’m curious to explore how these ideas play out in the post-Information Age with the rise of AI — captured through installation, VR and XR.
“The simplest spatial relations […] such as left and right and forward and backward, are differentiated by a line drawn from east to west, following the course of the sun, and bisected by a perpendicular running from north to south – and all intuition of temporal intervals goes back to these intersecting lines.” [Cassirer, 1923]
The desert is an endless source of fascination for me, and the Sahara, in particular, has an enduring hold. I draw inspiration from this minimal landscape and the ever-present horizon, where everything is reduced to its most elemental state, highlighting fundamental concepts and laws governing nature — where one is more acutely aware of the shift of polarities: sky and earth; day and night; near and far; hot and cold.
“Here, in this entirely mineral landscape, lit by stars as by fires, even memory disappears; all that's left is your breathing and your heartbeat.” Paul Bowles
2023 // Austin Studio Tour, Austin, TX
2023 // Urban Transitions, group show, APT Gallery, London
2023 // Urban Transitions, group show, Deptford X, London
2023 // Meridian, group show, EVA exhibition, Computer Arts Society (CAS), London
2023 // Shadow Clock, group show, Creative Arts Digital Sandpit, FACT Liverpool
2021 // Displacement, w/ A-Maze Arts Collective, awarded Arts Council England (ACE) grant, London
2021 // Displacement, shortlisted for the PATH Plaza Park installation at Exchange Place, Jersey City, NJ