Sarah Ahmad is a multi-media artist based in Tulsa and Lahore. Her project for SFAI, “Unearthing Stories from the Core” immerses participants in the exquisite landscapes of two fiercely contested territories: Oklahoma and Gilgit-Baltistan in Northern Pakistan. The unexpected alignment between the rural US and Pakistan reveals both geographic majesty and immense trauma absorbed by contested land and its inhabitants.
Ahmad’s installations rely on ecotherapeutic principles to forge a sense of interconnectedness—both among communities, and between humans and the earth. She confronts the ‘nature gap’ experienced in marginalized communities: the effects of (dis)connection with the earth. Her current body of work asks how we might relate to the land outside colonial, capitalist modes of living—a future of belonging with the earth, outside territorial possession, or land extraction, but in mutual care. Building on years of engagement with the natural world, Ahmad explores themes of displacement and renewal, communal healing, and above all: the sublime, restorative potential of nature. Her installations offer regenerative spaces, outside the contexts of cultures and places, transcending boundaries and categorizations. Earlier work investigated cosmic interconnectedness, through an exploration of sacred geometries in Islamic geometric patterns and the recurring patterns in the natural world, human body, and cosmos. This juxtaposition exposed the universal oneness that underlies our existence. From 2019–23 Ahmad was a resident Tulsa Artist Fellow; she has exhibited across the United States and internationally.
Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA