Hayat Gul was born in Karachi to Kashmiri parents, spent her formative years in Montreal since the age of four before moving to New York in 1991.
She has exhibited her work at Kimmel Center, Art Gotham, Abrons Art Center, AIR gallery, Art in General, MoCADA, and SaffronArt . International exhibits and collections include Florence Biennale 2009 and Mica Gallery in South Kensington London. She has recently completed her residency in Jordan with START, working with refugee kids and families at Baqa camp.
Her work is part of many private collections as well as part of a permanent collection at the Arab American National Museum in Dearborn Michigan.
She has studied apparel design at F.I.T. and graphic design independently at Pratt Institute and is primarily a self-taught artist, working mainly with degenerated, broken glass and mirror to form script or colored background instead of paint.
In my work I am combining age old wisdom with contemporary mediums that I constantly experiment with. My attraction to glass is accidental and innate. It helps express my thoughts almost inexplicably. My childhood was infused with many images that are mainly associated with the East. For example, calligraphy, Urdu poetry, intricate henna patterns, and beautiful zari embroidery on colorful silks and clothing.
My process involves painstaking attention to detail and can sometimes be painful as the glass is smashed to pieces before being reformed into new configurations.
I am working on a new series that I stumbled upon during my recent residency with the START program in Amman, Jordan. During my studio experimentation, I used one shape to create a complex pattern that resembled the Islamic patterns I kept repeatedly seeing in Jordan in buildings, objects, etc.
I came to understand that extensively complex fractal equations were used to create the intricate, repetitive designs in Islamic structures and walls since the 9th century.
One such building is the Al Hambra which has become the focus of my research for this series.