Art Detail | Ilham Gallery
And Then It All Happened (Plate No. 1)
And Then It All Happened (Plate No. 1)

Borrowing the decorative, idyllic imagery from Persian and Mughal miniature paintings, Adeela Suleman subtly introduces unexpected scenes of violence. The artist is fascinated by the inextricable link between violence and beauty. For her: “The more heinous the crime, the more beautiful the object needs to be.”

Found porcelain plate with enamel paint
25.4 cm (diameter)
Credit Line:
Collection of ILHAM Foundation
© Adeela Suleman
About Adeela Suleman

Born and based in Karachi, Pakistan, Adeela initially studied international relations. After secretly passing an admissions test for the Indus Valley School of Art & Architecture, Adeela enrolled and then graduated with a BFA in Sculpture (Distinction) from the school in 1999. Adeela’s work often takes inspiration from Islamic art and the Pakistani landscape and explores the increasingly normalized violence of Pakistani society. She is particularly well known for transforming regular and mundane materials into complex sculptural forms. Adeela is currently Associate Professor and Head of the Fine Art Department at the Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture and Coordinator of VASL Artists’ Association. She has exhibited widely, including solo exhibitions at: Gandhara Art Gallery, Karachi (2017); Aicon Gallery, New York, USA (2017 and 2014); Davide Gallo Gallery, Milan, Italy (2017); and Canvas Gallery, Karachi (2015).

Learning Section


  • The imagery, with its mix of gore and beauty, is indeed complex. How does such an image make you feel and why do you think it makes you feel that way?

  • The theme of violence and beauty are usually placed at opposite ends, yet the artist purposefully combines them in this artwork. Why do you think the artist chose to do this?

  • What is the possible narrative and story behind this artwork?


  • How would you represent the relationship between violence and beauty? Create your own representation of this relationship. You may also try playing with other opposing themes. Here are some prompts:

  1. Modernity/Tradition

  2. Peace/War

  • Try to observe in your everyday routine any other opposing themes engaging with each other and create a series of artworks depicting those relationships.