We acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the Country on which the Art Gallery of NSW stands.

🛈 Read about our COVID-safe plans and what you need to know before visiting.





Zarina Hashmi


1937 – 25 Apr 2020

  • Details

    Media category
    Materials used
    woodcut on BFK light paper mounted on Somerset Antique paper
    2/20 [from edition of 20, plus 2AP + 1 printer’s proof]
    42.5 x 33.0 cm image, 69.8 x 55.8 cm sheet
    Signature & date

    Signed and dated l.r., pencil "Zarina 2013".

    Gift of the artist 2018
    Not on display
    Accession number
    © Zarina. Courtesy of the artist and Luhring Agustine, New York

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Zarina Hashmi

    Works in the collection


  • About

    … they were in such a hurry to do partition. Radcliff came in – he didn’t know the country, he did not know Lahore is right next to Amritsar – he just sat at a table and drew a line, and sometimes the line goes right through a house and part of a house is in India and part of the house is in Pakistan. It is the greatest tragedy of the Indian sub-continent.
    – Zarina

    The themes of exile and relocation in Zarina Hashmi’s work are inspired by the devastating dividing line between India and Pakistan. Zarina and her family experienced the consequences of having been relocated to Karachi from Aligarh, India, in the 1950s, and in 1976 she settled in New York. 'Abyss', with its simple jagged line, hints at the complications that were to be the future of the subcontinent. The writer Neelika Jayawardane has eloquently described 'Abyss': ‘The zigzagging, shimmering silver line on a matte-black background appears the way a river might on a full-moon night, from an airplane; it is a route a lost traveller might follow in their blackest hour.’ It is a line that could be anywhere or nowhere.

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 1 exhibition

Other works by Zarina Hashmi