While in the BFA program, Marium received the URCAA grant to travel to Pakistan and learn traditional miniature painting. She studied the four year BFA curriculum in 2 months. This shifted her work from large textile paintings to small gouache miniatures.
While at FSU Marium also started the student organization Project Downtown Tallahassee that serves meals to the hungry and homeless in Tallahassee.
Qalam is the Urdu term for the miniature painting brush. This brush is unique in that it is made from one hair of squirrel’s tail and require an extraordinary amount of patience. Qalam also refers to the first and most important step of the painting process.
I make gouache miniature works that are influenced by both traditional paintings of the Mughal empire, in what is now modern day Pakistan, and contemporary Pakistani street art.
As a Pakistani-American, I craved going to Pakistan for the rich visual experience. I was attracted to the art in museums, as much as the folk art that fills the streets. By combining the use of flat patterning, repetition, and vibrant colors with contemporary iconography I honor both traditions.