Rabia S. Akhtar is a Karachi based visual artist and writer. She received her BFA from the Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture in 2015, majoring in traditional Miniature painting. Within her practice, Rabia examines the conflict between anthropocentric thought and dreams of otherworldly animal kingdoms, centering her narratives around the intimate misconceptions of childhood memory and fantasy. Growing up in a vastly polluted megalopolis, with little physical access to animals, Akhtar’s first interaction with the non-human world was through fables, garish cartoons, sensual treasuries, and folk tales. Stripped from their environment, these beings created a distorted realm of solace. With age, the crisis of climate change shattered these worlds, as species went extinct and migratory journeys were severed. The artist revisits the ecosystems of these places: otherworldly plants and beasts of memory, cavort with creatures now extinct or endangered.
Solo Exhibitions Include (Upcoming) Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery, London UK (2024).
Group exhibitions include (Upcoming) Internal Landscapes, duo exhibition with Rabia Farooqui, Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery, Berlin, UK (2023); O Art Space, Lahore (2022), Canvas Gallery, Karachi (2022); LBF Virtual Museum 'The Body and Beyond: Women's Movements in Pakistan', Lahore (2022), Dar-Aamad, O Art Space, Lahore (2022), What is a Good Painting, Art Chowk Gallery, Karachi (2022), Khat-o-Kitabat, Koel Gallery, Karachi, and O Art Space, Lahore, (2021), Breathing Light, Koel Gallery, Karachi (2021), The Architecture of Being, AAN Art Space & Museum, Karachi (2021), Microcosm 4, AAN Art Space and Museum, Karachi, March (2021), Past, Present, Future, Koel Gallery, Karachi (March 2021), Pretty Art for Pretty People, Sanat Initiative, Karachi (2020), Being Human, O Art Space, Lahore (2020), Every Road is a River, Ministry for Gozo, Gozo, Malta (2020), Echoes of the Walls, Vasl Artists’ Collective, Karachi (2020), Artist Statement 5, Czong Institute for Contemporary Art (CICA) Museum, Gimpo, South Korea (2020), Rehai, VM Gallery, Karachi (2019), Rhythms of Resurgence, Koel Gallery, Karachi (2019), Not Just the City, Space B, Spazju Kreattiv, Valletta, Malta (2018), Beneath The Surface, Canvas Gallery, Karachi (2017), We Ate The Birds, Koel Gallery, Karachi (2017), Who Killed Shumaila, Sanat Gallery, Karachi (2017), Ibtidaa, Studio Seven Gallery, Karachi (2016), Carte Blanche, Fomma Trust, Karachi (2016), Awaken Our Legacy, Standard Chartered Bank, Karachi (2016), Pehli Manzil, Karachi (2016), Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture Thesis Show, IVS, Karachi (2015).
Rabia S. Akhtar received the 2020 Residency of Taaza Tareen 12, Vasl Artists’ Association, (Art Writer in Residence), Karachi, Pakistan. Furthermore she was part of the Locating Word - Art Writer’s Residency, Vasl Artists’ Association, Karachi, Pakistan. In 2018, she was the recipient of the Valletta 2018 Artist-in-Residence Program, Gozo, Malta.