“I’m a contemporary illustrator from Dubai, currently based in the UK. Combining traditional drawing materials and techniques with digital software, my deceptively simple imagery deals with the complexities of cultural and social interrelations. Currently, my practice addresses how notions of peace emanate from the individual to become the attitudes and relations of a community. Wordless narratives storyboard international news stories and the way everyday moralities are played out from the local to the global. The graphic novels and scenes that result, explore commonality as a way of transcending issues of difference. Dark human characters convey meaningful messages throughout. The troubling themes of war and aggression are accentuated through emotive, limited colour palettes and gestural mark-making.

Strongly associative elements such as the human skulls or peace bird are used for their universal reading, creating a visual language of comprehensive understanding. In this way, autobiographical experiences become thought-provoking visualisations of wider reach. For me, skulls offer the potential for unity and peace in humans, despite their frequent portrayal as fearsome or evil. My skeletal characters have a fresh chance at life through roles that interrogate what is meant by ‘good’. Sarcasm and dark humour are foregrounded in a way that contrasts with the ‘truths’ implied as a means of generating new questions and self-awareness in the viewer.”

To find out more, visit Naureen’s website and social channels:

Instagram: @naureenakbar Twitter: @Naureen_Akbar

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