Al-Qawi’s work is heavily influenced by her upbringing as she grew up around people of many faiths in an environment where tolerance and pluralism were protected. She works in several mediums such as printmaking, drawing and painting, and through it she tries to deconstruct the essence and importance of meditation, prayer and Islamic practices in her life.
The process is key in her work, which are text-based self-portraits or diary entries, sometimes including faces of those who have passed away, representing their eternal souls and her belief that they are resting and forever guiding those who remain.
The series of work Letters To My Mother was made after Al-Qawi lost her mother in April 2018, feeling of losing herself too she tried to isolate herself while she just thought of her, so she didn’t forget how she smiled or the way she brushed her hair. At a time such as that, isolation did more harm than good. Now she decides to share her grief to try and be able to accept and move on.
Al-Qawi Nanvati attained her B.F.A from the Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A. (2018). She has had a solo show at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL (2016) and several group shows at the Arc Gallery Chicago, (2018), Zhou B Art Center, Chicago (2018) Mood Disorders Association of Ontario, Toronto, Canada (2015), Gene Siskel Film Center, Chicago, IL(2015), Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, Chicago, IL (2016), Aaron Gallery, Glenview, IL (2017), Woman Made Gallery, Chicago, IL (2017), etc. She has also won several awards such as Aga Khan Youth Award for distinction in Art, Mumbai, India (2016), Luminarts Fellowship (Finalist), Chicago, IL (2017), Graduating Student Leadership Award at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, IL (2017), The Asian American Community IL Award for Exemplary Community Service, IL (2017) among several others.