God Grows on Trees, 2007—2009

Abbas Hamra
God Grows on Trees, 2007—2009
Gouache on wasli
3.5 x 3 cm
Detail view
Commissioned and produced by Sharjah Art Foundation
Photo by Alfredo Rubio


By appropriating culturally loaded imagery and iconography, and transforming them into new works that may be experienced spatially and temporally, Hamra Abbas creates new platforms from which to view notions of culture, tradition, exchange and power. She presented two projects at the 2009 Sharjah Biennial: In this is a sign for those who reflect(2009), commissioned by the Biennial Production Programme and an earlier work, God Grows on Trees (2007-08)Abbas was one of the 2009 recipients of a Sharjah Biennial Prize.

Recent solo projects have been shown at Babusch Project Space, Berlin (2009), Green Cardamon, London (2008) and NCA Gallery, Rawalpindi, Pakistan (2008). Her work has featured in numerous group shows including at Pacific Asia Museum, Pasadena, USA (2010), the Asia Society Museum, New York, the Walter and McBean Galleries, San Francisco Art Institute and REDCAT, LA (2009/10), International Biennial of Contemporary Art, Baku, Azerbaijan (2009), the Sharjah Biennial (2009), the Guangzou Triennial (2008), the Istanbul Biennial (2007) and the Biennale of Sydney (2006). Abbas’ work has also been exhibited at Victoria and Albert Museum, London, ARTIUM de Álava, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain, ifa Gallery, Berlin and the Manchester Art Gallery, UK.

She has been awarded residencies and scholarships by institutions such as Vermont Studio Center, the Triangle Arts Trust, VASL and DAAD and regularly gives artist talks at academic institutions across North America and elsewhere. In 2010 she was among the winners of the Abraaj Capital Prize.

Hamra received her BFA and MA in Visual Arts at the National College of Arts, Lahore before going on to the Universitaet der Kuenste in Berlin in 2004 where she received the Meisterschueler. Hamra Abbas lives and works between Boston and Islamabad.

October 2010

This person was part of Sharjah Biennial 9


Abbas, Hamra

God Grows on Trees

God Grows on Trees seeks to speak at once about religion, fear, hope, humanity, love and commoditisation.