Little Interview

Every month we ask the same set of questions to someone collaborating with us. Over the last number of years, we have interviewed diverse members of the Glucksman community - artists, academics, staff members, guests, audiences and workshop participants. The responses are funny, inspiring, revealing and always a great read.

This month, we feature artist Samir Mahmood, who's work features in our current exhibition, Mysterious Ways: Art, faith and transcendence.

What are you reading?
Most of what I read these days is for a reading group I am facilitating. We meet to discuss texts queer artists might find interesting. I am currently reading Queer Attachments: The Cultural Politics of Shame (2007) by Sally R Munt. I am also reading Verses from a Lowly Fakir by Naveed Alam (2016) which is an English translation of Punjabi poetry of Shah Hussain, a Sufi poet from Lahore, Pakistan.

Favourite museum?
I am currently researching Mughal art at Chester Beatty museum.  

Best performance?
I recently saw an excerpt of a performance by Joshua Serafin called Pearls (performed live by Lukresia Quismundo) at the Venice Biennale which I thoroughly enjoyed. 

Most treasured possession?
Some photographs and books I brought from Pakistan when I migrated to Ireland in 2008. These hold important memories for me. 

Work(s) of art that inspire you?  
I find most paintings by Shahzia Sikander and Salman Toor inspiring. Both migrated to the US from Pakistan and I am fascinated by the way they portray South Asian culture in their works.

A lightbulb moment?
The day I decided to change my career from academia to a visual artist in 2015 - followed by the excitement of attending art school in Galway. I have never looked back!

Guilty pleasure?
A creamy and crispy, sweet pastry!

What would you like to be doing right now?
I read somewhere that the definition of the good life is if you were handed millions and changed nothing about your life. I’m doing exactly what I’ve always wanted to do, after many years of following a profession I was never truly invested in. I feel grateful for my art practice.