Raqib Shaw (b. 1974) uses the creative process to tell his personal story, raising questions around the construct of identity. The imagined setting of The Final Submission in Fire on Ice (2021), a self-portrait, combines elements of the artist’s London studio, and the landscape of his childhood home in Kashmir, India, from where he was uprooted as a teenager due to political unrest.
In 2021, Shaw set fire to a number of personal belongings, including a handwoven Kashmiri shawl, in response to a period of bereavement. In the self-portrait, the artist burns the shawl, a family heirloom, which represents his homeland.
To make his paintings, Shaw draws an outline in gold acrylic liner and creates a tiny ‘well’ into it which he pours enamel paint. He then maneuvers the paint with a porcupine quill or sharp pin.
Photographed in the National Portrait Gallery in London.