Samia Malik is an artist, a singer/songwriter and a teacher.
Born in Saudi Arabia to Pakistani parents, she has lived in the UK since the age of six and now works and lives in Norwich. She has developed a dynamic, evolving practice that draws widely on her multiple heritages by combining, extending and subverting traditional art forms to explore contemporary issues around identity, power, race, gender, equality, culture, displacement and belonging. Her powerful body of work raises challenging and important questions about our common humanity at a time of increasingly polarised, fundamentalist and xenophobic world views in the wider society.
Samia's early song writing used the traditional Urdu Ghazal form and from 1996 she toured extensively throughout the UK and internationally in Europe with her band Garam Masala (Sinead Jones, cris cheek and Sukhdeep Singh).
In 2003 and 2004 she collaborated with the acclaimed dancer Mallika Surabhai and an international troupe of dancers through the Darpana Academy of Performing Art (Ahmedbad, India) on a new show based on her songs: ‘The Colours of the Heart’. This show, supported by funding from the British Council, toured 15 major cities of India, including controversial and history making performances in Kashmir.
Samia has released two warmly received and reviewed CDs: The Colour of the Heart (1998) with Garam Masala, and Jaago - Wake Up (2004).
In 2007 she graduated from a second degree in Fine Art, linking sound, words and images. Current performances have video, image and text backdrops and Samia regularly facilitates workshops on Indian Music and song writing for students of all ages and abilities in schools, adults and community groups. Moving into the possibly more universally understood language of the visual, she has deliberately and firmly placed herself in the traditional ‘Western’ form of portrait painting in oil.
Samia’s practice continues to create complex multilayered resonances of personal experiences within a political context: her recent paintings in series, accompanied by voice, song, music, text or moving images reflect and suggest how differences might be explored, mediated and understood.
‘By questioning and understanding that which divides or imprisons us, we may also, paradoxically, find that which unites or liberates us.’