There is no doubt that Swarovski crystals add a different dimension to clothes. If you think the use of such crystals is limited only to clothes, think again. Sara Shakeel, a contemporary artist hailing from Pakistan, uses glitter and Swarovski crystals to create both physical and digital collages on photos and 3D objects.
Shakeel’s art is not only eye-catching but also unique. Although she studied to become a dentist, her passion for art made her drop out of dental school. Art became a creative outlet for her emotions. What’s most surprising, she received no formal training in art and is completely self-taught.
Shakeel has a unique take on art. In one, posted under the hashtag #glitterstretchmarks, she superimposed stretchmarks with gold glitter, crystals, and galaxies. This was her way of conveying body positivity and the need for overcoming the reservations people have for bodily imperfections, such as stretch marks. She also collaborated with Reebok for their body image awareness campaign, where she covered the muscles of the athlete Jamie Green with Swarovski crystals. The ad aimed at portraying women’s bodies as strong and beautiful.
Shakeel has many other works to her credit, such as her capsule clothing collection created in collaboration with the London-based retailer Browns. Her installation sculpture, ‘The Great Supper’, was exhibited at NOW Gallery in London, UK. She has also created a glass and resin physical CD, covered in crystals, for Chance the Rapper’s album ‘The Big Day’. Her glittering handwashing images highlight the importance of washing hands during the current pandemic times.
Shakeel’s talent would have remained undiscovered had it not been for the social media platform Instagram. Once she posted her works, it started grabbing eyeballs. Within no time, her fans started following her on her page and today she enjoys a viewership of over a million followers.