Paint and thread on silk, 12″ diameter

Shah Noor Shafqat: Innocent Predators

On view July 1 – October 11, 2020

Artist Statement

Innocent predators are a series of characters based on the power of babies to control the adults in their lives. The concept comes from the fact that babies are continually consuming breast milk, as well as the mental and physical strength of their mothers. Babies turn their mothers into puppets by controlling them and making them do things the way they want. Babies know that their mothers are helpless because they will do anything for them out of love.

The vampire characteristics are used to suggest that babies suck the lifeblood from their mothers.

My characters have the body structure of cute babies with exaggerated evil features such as pointed teeth, scary eyes, mean facial expressions, and abstract placed art and patterns on their bodies and surroundings.

The unpredictability of a motherhood journey is echoed by the uncertain way that the silk paint moves through the fabric in my paintings. The purpose of hand embroidery—especially knots—is related to the patience required as a mother to bring her children. I thus express my feelings as a mother through the indirect textures of silk painting, embroidery, and colors, forms, and surfaces that allude to physical stress and emotional stress, frustration, constant struggle, containment and restriction it causes me.

I am currently making a variety of circular mixed media works that mirror my experience as a mother., which I am giving a title ‘Innocent predators” is based on the life of mothers, illuminates how a painful process of intensive motherly caregiving has led to highly personal expressions of beauty and the intimate mother-child relationship. The coffee splatters on my paintings show my experience of sleepless nights trying to care for my children and practicing my art at the same time. These pieces trace the period of an intense and tough time for me as a mother.


Shah Noor Shafqat has MFA (design and illustration) from the School of Art at the University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, and a BFA (Textile Design) from the National College of Arts, Lahore, Pakistan.

Shah Noor has a diverse portfolio, which includes experience in interior textiles, apparel design, and home fashion. She has worked as a textile designer with Nishat mills, Samin textile mills, Hayat’s since the 1980s (Furniture Design Firm), and other private labels. Her digital artwork for Android and iOs, including Tap Mall, Blood Brothers, Puzzle Fantasy, and Fatal Frontier, is available online on App Store and Google Play. Her textile paintings have been displayed in conjunction with Genome: Unlocking Life’s Code  that was developed by the Smithsonian Museum and presented and sponsored by the Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine.

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts & cultural heritage fund.


Rooted: Southeastern Minnesota Exhibition Program

The ROOTED program at RAC is open to artists living and working in the eleven counties surrounding Rochester and showcases the most innovative and talented artists from the region. For artists who have received artist grants from the Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council (SEMAC), RAC provides gallery space to showcase the art by the grantee. RAC curatorial staff provides grant application support, studio visits and exhibition space, but do not select the artists, who are chosen by SEMAC jury. ROOTED exemplifies the commitment of RAC to be a central hub for art made in Southeastern Minnesota.