A summer collection exhibit that opened here at Jharoka Art gallery on Friday focuses on issues of women.
The collection, “In the name of Honour”, includes a theatrical performance, a musical performance, an animated movie on karo kari (honour killings), video presentation on honour killings, speeches, dialogues and paintings. The montage of artists exhibiting at the gallery includes Saeed Akhtar, Mansoor Rahi, MH Sulehri, Arjumand Awan, Nahida Raza and Mobina Zuberi. Dr Marilyn Wyatt, wife of U.S. Ambassador Cameron Munter, inaugurated the show.
Each artist in their own capacity has tried to highlight issues of dominance and the restrictions women might feel in our society. Rastay, the organisation that has helped in arranging the show, seeks to cultivate pluralism in a divided world, especially in a country like Pakistan where cultural, economic and social divides are extremely significant.
Rastay is not just trying to bridge the gaps but rather educate the people on important issues, according to a press handout. For years art has been used as a vehicle for social change and expression and so it is not surprising that the NGO, like other social enterprises, has turned to this mode of expression to get their message across.
While Zahra Kazmi’s work unveils the mask of domesticity that women often hide behind, MH Sulehri uses his mater flowers to depict a bullet piercing the gut of a blossoming flower.
Naqsh Raj displays her piece “To dispose of” that she created during a recent residency at VASL hosted by Rohtas Art. Each artist in their own manner has tried to underscore women’s issues in their unique manner.
With a few hit and miss pieces the overall ambience of the show is more informative than decorative or pleasing.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 16th, 2011.
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