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Thesis Defence: I Died as a Mineral

July 21, 2023 at 9:00 am - 1:00 pm

Heraa Khan, supervised by Aleksandra Dulic, will defend their dissertation titled “I Died as a Mineral” in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Fine Arts in Visual Arts.

An abstract for Heraa Khan’s thesis is included below.

Defences are open to all members of the campus community as well as the general public. Please email aleksandra.dulic@ubc.ca to receive the zoom link for this defence.


I Died as a Mineral is an exhibition and a written thesis that explores the connection between humans and the natural environment. It presents a series of paintings and a digital animation. The thesis begins as a cross-cultural investigation of the environmental calamities during my journey from Lahore, Pakistan, to Kelowna, Canada. The experience of living through smog, pollution and floods in Lahore parallel the similar consequences faced in the Okanagan Valley. These experiences prompt an exploration into these natural calamities as a result of our disconnection with nature. The study delves into cross-cultural concepts of interconnection and interdependence, acknowledging and honouring the traditional, ancestral, and unceded tm̓xʷúlaʔxʷ (land) of the Syilx Okanagan people who have inhabited this region since time immemorial. This acknowledgement provides a foundation for creative production, highlighting the interconnectedness of our world. The painting methodology used in this creative research fosters a profound connection with natural forms and the natural environment through creative transformation. Natural materials are used to craft art materials like paper, paintbrushes and paints. Incorporating handmade paints created from Indigenous knowledge of pigments and paint-making becomes an integral aspect of the artistic process. The painting process combines different painting styles, controlled and meticulous rendering with spontaneous gestures and various textures. The boundaries of traditional painting expand as the artwork transcends the confines of paper into the digital realm. The creative journey opens doors to a deeper understanding, sensitivity, and a profound connection with the natural environment. It serves as a testament to the intrinsic interconnectedness of all living things, highlighting the importance of our responsibility in nurturing and preserving our planet.


July 21, 2023
9:00 am - 1:00 pm

Additional Info

Registration/RSVP Required
Yes (see event description)
Event Type
Thesis Defence
Arts and Humanities, Research and Innovation
Alumni, Community, Faculty, Staff, Families, Partners and Industry, Students, Postdoctoral Fellows and Research Associates