Areez Katki is an artist and writer who draws from historic and social research to address the value of craft sensibilities, employing textiles as an anchoring device to illustrate the migratory condition. Over the duration of his career he has focused on the significance of materiality from the domestic realm through the personal processes of fabricating textiles, along with an ongoing engagement with their storied narratives. With a background in Art History and an early childhood imbibed in the values of craft, he has developed techniques based on instinctive responses to textile and fibre research. His work often juxtaposes the ephemeral synaesthetic responses to an abstracted environment, with a subjectivity around formal processes of fabrication that were matrilineally inherited and documented. In this way he raises questions around the political nature of craft. Proclaiming his role as a craftsperson and a storyteller within the hierarchical structures of contemporary art, his works address social constructs of identity, spirituality and sexuality, executed through various mediums, including tapestry weaving, beadwork, embroidery, paint, sculpture, and printmaking. In 2019 after a ten month-long residency based in Mumbai, India, Katki exhibited Bildungsroman—a narrative that surveyed his genetic landscapes across Iran and his birthplace in India. The project was originally exhibited at Malcolm Smith Gallery, Auckland, then toured to institutions across Aotearoa during 2019 and 2020. The exhibition was scheduled to travel to India mid-2020, but due to Covid-19 this has been postponed to 2021.
Areez Katki (b. 1989, Bombay (Mumbai), India) lives and works in Te Whanganui-a-Tara Wellington, New Zealand. He has a Master of Arts with Distinction (2021) in Creative Writing from the International Institute of Modern Letters, Victoria University of Wellington, and a Bachelor of Arts in Art History and English (2012) from the University of Auckland. Recent solo exhibitions include: History reserves but a few lines for you, Enjoy Contemporary, Te Whanganui-a-Tara Wellington; Thieves’ Market, The National, Ōtautahi Christchurch; On Chroma, Sumer Gallery, Tauranga; It’s Never Too Late To Learn, Ararimu Valley School Cottage, Howick Historic Village [via Te Tuhi], Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland; Notes & Methods, Tim Melville Gallery, Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland; Bildungsroman, Otago Museum, Ōtepoti Dunedin; Some Retained Delights, RM Gallery, Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland.