Over 100 art pieces were displayed during an exhibition at the Faisalabad Arts Council (FAC).
The exhibition displayed painting and calligraphy by University of Agriculture Faisalabad graduates Neha Khan, Hina, Rabia and Shumaila.
Speaking to The Express Tribune, artist Shumaila said, “I wanted to create movement in my work. I am fascinated with Muslim history but wanted to present it as something new.”
She said her paintings were an ode to old Mughal miniature. She added, “The pieces consist of mixed media. I combined simple cuttings from the Shahi Nama (miniature book) and wood cut pieces with hand-painted calligraphy on one canvas to weave a single narrative.”
Dr Khurram Khan, an entomologist at the UAF, said, “It is hard to place Shumaila’s pieces in a single genre or category. Scenes from the Mughal era of princely romances are placed on her canvas, splattered with abstract calligraphy. It is as if each painting is a song, and the calligraphy is its lyric.”
He added, “However, her works do not portray the finesse and delicate finish that miniature art is known for. Most of the pieces are smudgy and abstract in nature.”
Artist Neha Khan, who displayed her calligraphy work, said, “I had to practice a lot to develop a painting style that reflected and reinforced what I wanted to show.”
“I work in oil paints, pestle charcoal and canvas work. The interest from people has been encouraging,” she said. “It will improve my work.”
A student Humaira said, “It is vibrant colors that make Neha’s artwork stand out. large canvases painted with splashes of bright red, green, gold and yellow with bold and abstract brush strokes with different layers of color. The artist goes on to engrave calligraphy onto those layers with a scalpel-like pen, which she designed herself.”
“The collection is different from traditional Arabic calligraphy. Her work allows Arabic words and Cubism to compliment each other,” she said.
A student Hamza said, “Neha’s work demonstrates her skill in handling layers upon layers of colo s. This skill she has clearly painstakingly honed.”
FAC Assistant Director Khadija Munir said, “The arts council offers a unique platform for creative people to promote our norms, traditions and cultures.”
Published in The Express Tribune, April 13th, 2012.
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