Powered by Young & Powerful Artist ~ Shehzar Abro (SA)
Supported by Young & Powerful Musician – Laurence Viegas (LV)
We interviewed the GEMS about their vision and art:
SA. Your experience with GEM – My first interaction with GEM was live-painting an artwork for their Sydney fundraiser. I fell in love with what the organization stood for. I contacted Ange, the Founder of GEM soon after to help me take the idea to Pakistan. A year later, here we are all planning a trip to Karachi to make a difference!
LV. Your experience with GEM – I’ve been involved with GEM since early 2018, meeting the Founding Director, Angé on a little bush walk in Sydney, our dogs got along and the rest is history! I’m so grateful to have the opportunity to produce music that can aid in others growth and healing, and being a part of GEM has helped my own self growth along the way.
SA. Your connection to Karachi / Pakistan – I grew up in this beautiful city. Karachi is resilient – to say the least. We as a city have stood strong after a history of instability. Initiatives like the Karachi Biennale really do portray the harmony and synchronicity between individual leaders to empower the city as a whole.
LV. Your connection to Karachi / Pakistan – I didn’t have one until I was invited to go with GEM to be the Music Coach for GEMAH at Karachi Biennale this year, and since then I’ve been doing some research and learning as much as I can to better understand the culture and the experience that lies ahead!
SA. Your experience and story within the Sydney art community – I practiced my art from a small studio in Marrickville, a suburb in Sydney. I’ve worked in administrative roles in the art world, including managing an art gallery, which focused on Middle Eastern and South Asian art. The Sydney art scene is diverse on so many levels and it was humbling to be a part of it.
LV. Your experience and story within the Sydney art community – I’ve been involved with the Sydney art community for a number of years, exhibiting works in galleries and performing at music events. I love my city, its struggle has been evident in the past 6 years, but it has led to a huge growth in alternative ways of promoting the arts and music which has allowed upcoming artists so many new opportunities.
SA. What initially motivated you to pursue GEMAH – Seeing what GEM does for young individuals and personally experiencing a shift in my mindset, I knew this project is what Karachi needs. I personally know so many driven potential young leaders that could benefit from this program.
LV. What initially motivated you to pursue GEMAH- Being able to be on board with GEMAH is such a unique experience, to see Shehzar’s initial vision grow into what it is now is incredibly exciting, that enough to motivate me and be able to share my work and vision with others through my music.
SA. What are your personal hopes – As cliché as it sounds, it is primarily to give back to a city that gave me a place I call home, people I call friends and family, and a passion I call art. It’s also been such an honor working with people I look up to in the art scene.
LV. What are your personal hopes – To be able to use music as a way of aiding others in the process of healing and development as music helps me. Music is something that can both bring people together and offer a source of self-reflection that I believe are essential in everyday life and bettering one’s health.
GEMAH is an International Arts & Health Program initiated by GEM Connect Pty Ltd (GEM) Australia, developed to support emerging young artists. In 2019, GEMAH visits Karachi, Pakistan, well aligned with the Karachi Biennial Art Event and will then work its way around the globe.
We believe that GEMAH will guide these emerging young artists (visual and music) and engage with them in their purpose and provide the necessary leadership skills they will need to navigate their world. The key part of GEMAH is in providing emerging young artists with tools that build overall resilience – as well as those practical skills necessary to develop their natural talent and to become confident and self-sufficient.
Stay posted for GEMAH updates or visit www.givingemotionsmeaning.com/karachi/
Shehzar is currently pursuing a degree in Animation and Visual Effects in Vancover, Canada. At the age of 18, Shehzar started managing and curating shows at the Movenpick Hotel Karachi Art Gallery, while exhibiting and producing his own artworks. Now 21, his murals and paintings are collected by the Pakistani High Commission in Canberra, Government of Sindh and housed in private collections around the world. Shehzar was also the official curator of the Consulate General of Pakistan in Sydney and a member of the first Karachi Biennale’s Outreach Committee. As the Curriculum Lead for the GEM Arts and Health Program (GEMAH), Shehzar uses his a expertise to enable GEM in thriving in the arts and health scene globally.