Nusra Latif Qureshi: The Land I See Is Not Elsewhere

26 March  - 31 July 2022

Before anything, I see. I see the land spread around with a mighty river sleeping among giant trees and then sweeping through the brown earth. Several kinds of green, yellow and black birds and leaves meet the eye and make noise. I see the land and I hope it sees me. I am not here to conquer it, nor am I here to possess it. It is futile to record it, its immensity spans millennia and I am a mere human lifespan.

Silver Wattle, White Box and River bottlebrush are full of bird song, Banksias with colour, and River Red Gums with their mighty limbs guard the river waters. Bushes, rushes, grasses creep quietly and take over my still feet, grounding me to earth. The spiky foliage of unseen moss, stones with sharp edges and smooth pebbles slow me down as I try to approach the river. Spears of grass take from my hand the possessions I bring with me, hiding the crude artefacts of human ingenuity into a green, gold oblivion.

I see the land and I hope it sees me. I just come here to see.

                                                                                                Nusra Latif Qureshi

Nusra Latif Qureshi, The Land I See Is Not Elsewhere (detail), 2022, Image courtesy the artist and Sutton Gallery, Melbourne

The Land I See Is Not Elsewhere by Melbourne-based artist Nusra Latif Qureshi is a multifaceted installation that questions the histories and legacies of representation of the land in Australia, as much as it pays tribute to the local environment. The work reflects on our relationship to the natural world and references the history of Australian landscape painting, with a specific nod to SAM’s large holdings of watercolour landscapes by Albert Namatjira and the extended Hermannsburg School.

Trained in Mughal miniature painting in Lahore, Pakistan, Qureshi’s installation bursts out of the confines of the picture frame. Threads in hues inspired by the surrounding landscape sprawl out in intricate webs that suggest nature subsuming and reclaiming remnants of the manmade world.

Curator: Shelley McSpedden, Acting Artistic Director and Senior Curator




Location: SAM Window, Ground Level, Entrance