Aadila Munshi’s graffiti-style abstractions are expressive of her experiences growing up in South Africa during a tumultuous time in its social and political history. There, she learned to write calligraphy, and studied watercolours in depth with a local artist in her small town. She went on to train and work as a Criminologist at the University of Cape Town, before moving permanently to Toronto in 2000. Here, she enrolled at the Toronto School of Art, and resumed her journey of self-expression with paint. These life-defining experiences, including moving continents and relocating third world sensibilities to the first world, strongly inform her work.
She is stirred by street art, urban decay, and the power of words to call to action. As such, she includes calligraphic forms and text in her practice, both hidden and exposed. Her paintings are personal and honest outpourings that document her perception of the unceasing tension and synergy between what was, what is, and what one hopes will be. In her words: “I am deeply moved and inspired by our sometimes crumbling, sometimes dazzling world, and I enjoy illustrating this contrast through expressive colour and form.”