Zahra Jewanjee

Zahra is the recipient of the 2024 Pollock-Krasner Grant and the 2024 Djerassi Artist Residency Program.

Zahra Jewanjee is a multidisciplinary artist and educator who oscillates between painting, sculpture, and photography. Inspired by nature and informed by Science and Sufism, Zahra is fascinated by how humans, birds, and microbes all form groups for protection and a sense of belonging, driving her to emulate the interplay between structure and spontaneity. She perceives collective behaviors as manifestations of organized chaos—a harmonious interplay of countless elements, each contributing to a greater whole in ways that are both intricate and beautifully chaotic. Process-driven experiments have led her to invent a fictional language, Zuban-e-Kursi (“the language of a chair”), assigning English letters to chair parts as symbols. These self-imposed algorithmic environments encode text as hidden layers that become containers to break free from habitual silos, reclaiming agency and transcendence, offering visual poetry and an anthropological response.

Zahra’s work has been widely exhibited both nationally and internationally, and she has been featured in several notable publications, including Dimensions of Citizenship for the Venice Architecture Biennale – US Pavilion, RISD NatureLab, Harper’s Bazaar Arabia, MAS Context Chicago, and Guernica Magazine, among others. Zahra was the 2016 recipient of the Salama Bint Hamdan Emerging Artist Fellowship and Full Scholarship in Abu Dhabi. Recently, she has completed residencies at Iowa Lakeside Laboratory (USA), Konvent Residencia (Spain), and Campus Art Dubai Residency (UAE). She is a founder of SoZa Collective and works as an Adjunct Professor at the American University in Dubai, UAE.

Zahra Jewanjee’s residency is made possible with support from the Pollock Krasner Foundation, and Artists Alliance Inc’s ongoing partnership with Residency Unlimited.