Grand Trunk Road – Kabul to Torkham, maps the walkable route from Kabul to the border of Pakistan. This highway is part of the ancient 1700 mile, pre-3rd BCE Grand Trunk Road that connects Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh. In this graphite landscape, I have mapped the route, village by village, piecing together cities, towns, villages and hamlets. I use Mes Ainak, the site of an ancient Buddhist settlement and the largest copper deposit of Afghanistan as my vintage point to survey the entire route. The process begins with scavenging for digital images on various amateur travel blogs on border tourism, real estates sites, and pinned images on Google Earth. My recent fascination with the GT Road stems from the desire to highlight various possibilities of horizontal trade and exchange within the South Asian region.
Saba Qizilbash was born in Lahore and raised in Abu Dhabi, UAE. She has a BFA in Painting from National College of Art, Pakistan and a Master’s degree in Art Education from Rhode Island School of Design, USA. Saba’s work has been showcased in Dubai, Hong Kong, San Francisco, Lahore and Karachi including solo shows at 1×1 Gallery (Dubai), Koel Gallery (Karachi), Cuadro Fine Art Gallery (Dubai), ArtChowk (Karachi), and Rohtas II Gallery (Lahore). She has also exhibited in numerous group shows in locations across the UAE and abroad including at Aicon Gallery in New York. In 2017 Qizilbash was commissioned by UAE Unlimited and her works are now in the collection of HH Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan. The same year she received the Campus Art Dubai Grant. In 2018 Qizilbash was awarded the Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Emerging Artists Fellowship (SEAF) in partnership with Rhode Island School of Design. In 2019 she was the recipient of Vogue Hong Kong Woman Artist award. Saba has been a finalist for the Sovereign Asian Art Prize from 2017-2020, a member of Campus Art Dubai from 2014-2016 and was artist-in-residence at Sitka Center for Art and Ecology (Oregon) from 2000-2001. She has also designed a number of community art workshops in Dubai, Lahore, New Delhi and Providence. She is currently pursuing a research based MFA from the Ruskin School of Art, University of Oxford.