The Nomad Gallery was founded in the 1984 by Nageen Hayat and unlike other commercial galleries, its credo is deeply embedded in the promotion of culture, heritage and socio economic empowerment of under-privileged communities.
It has been at the forefront in the realm of arts promoting both aspiring and established artists with numerous Group and Solo Shows which are held on a regular basis. Nomad has conducted countless workshops on a range of topics including, but not limited to Art, Photography, Film and various other subjects in an effort to promote sustainability, education and awareness. In 2000 it started “Shanaakht” an artistic forum involved in humanitarian work, art/craft workshops, film screenings, Talks/presentations that was aimed at providing a platform to fledgling artists, musicians, poets, writers and marginalised communities. The outreach covers the international communities in Islamabad.
The Gallery thus functions both as an art and cultural centre, it has worked with a large number of organisations from all provinces of Pakistan producing handicrafts to showcase the ‘Best of Pakistan’ in the field. As part of the Centre’s regular community-related and philanthropic efforts, Nomad has also implemented several events, particularly workshops for crafts-based skill training on ‘livelihoods’ for women and youth, working closely with various other communities.
Under its ‘Art & film for Social Change, Activism and Peace” Programs it has focused on Human Rights & Women’s Rights through awareness-raising and economic empowerment, training, seminars and workshops, working in a holistic manner and this is what makes Nomad a unique entity.
This interest in the empowerment of community has translated into the preservation and promotion of crafts where the artisan/ craftsman has emerged as an important component of Nomad’s aims. Nomad’s Marketplace was therefore started as a community initiative which includes organics, health foods, home based workers, crafts, community workshops and to expand the scope, festivals of art, music & film are also held regularly. Traditional ceramics, jewellery, ajrak, embroidered items such as Shawls and other items of clothing have been displayed at Nomad’s arts and crafts festivals held in the past.
Its multifaceted approach and commitment to promoting human rights is a result of the efforts of its curator and Founder-Director, Ms. Nageen Hayat. Ms. Hayat is a founder member of the Women’s Action Forum (‘WAF’), Islamabad-Rawalpindi Chapter having served the forum as a member of the its council for most of the years since 1980’s. Her fascination with culture and heritage was such that it even translated into a documentary made on the the Kalasha customs and lifestyles. “Rediscovering Greater Chitral – the Greek influence and Lifestyles of the Kalasha” received much international acclaim resulting in her being invited to screen and speak on it first, to the week-long festival in Istanbul, and, then, to Athens where she was conferred with the “Olive Tree” award, a significant honour.
Ms. Hayat has also represented Pakistan abroad in conjunction with cultural activity when the Embassy of Brazil – Islamabad invited her to attend Art Rio 2013 where she interacted with artists, gallery representatives, crafts-persons, and visited major cultural centres. Ms. Hayat shared exchanges on the cultural aspects of Nomad Center and Pakistan through documentary and art sharing.
The Nomad celebrated its 34th anniversary in 2018. It is located at the Farm off Korang Road in Bani Gala Islamabad.