Pakistani Ceramist Sheherezade Alam Passes Away

Photo by Andy Kelly on Unsplash

Sheherezade Alam, a world-renowned Pakistani ceramist, died at 74. The Alhamra Arts Centre in Lahore verified the news of her demise. The organization sent out sympathies to grieving friends and family members by tweeting a photo of the artist. She has succumbed to various health complications.

In 1948, Alam was born in Lahore. She graduated from the National College of Arts with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Design with honours in ceramics. Salahuddin Mian, the country’s first ceramist, was her teacher. She had suffered from multiple health problems and received dialysis treatment for the last couple of years.

In 1971, she tied the knot with fellow artist Zahoor ul Akhlaq. But after the sad loss of her husband and their daughter, dancer Jahan Ara, in 1999, she relocated to Canada. Sheherezade returned to Pakistan in 2007, and in remembrance of her daughter, she established the Jahan e Jahanara Centre for Traditional Arts for Children.

Sheherezade was a master of her craft, speaking in 2014 about her fascination with and affection for the medium. “Clay instructs you. It teaches you to smile through the pain. You must pay close attention. The clay will forsake you if you do a bit and leave it.” Nothing beats the smell of matti ki khushbu (earthenware) while drinking cold water from a freshly dried clay pot, says ceramist Sheherezade Alam. “This is when the material and its legacy come to life.”

Sheherezade Alam is a legend who will live on in our hearts forever. A true Pakistani artist and visionary who has made a name for herself in the world of ceramics. She was buried at Bagh-i-Rehmat graveyard in R.A Bazaar, near Bhatta Chowk. Nusrat Jamil, Jugnu Mohsin, and former NCA principal Nazish Attaullah were among those who attended her funeral. Many of her friends and coworkers were present, including Sajida Vandal and Bashir Ahmed, Shahid Mehmood Nadeem from Ajoka, and many others.