For artist Sajida Hussain, painting women is recording her feelings onto the canvas. Hussain, whose love for painting women has deepened over the last 12 years, says her work is a testimony to peace and romanticism.
Hussain’s 32 artworks titled Neo Realistic Romanticism have been displayed at the Collector’s Galleria, more than half of which, she says, show women as independent and powerful. Her extensive use of red, orange and crimson colours apparently meant to highlight strength and vibrance.
“I like bright and vibrant colours. They make a bolder statement about the subject I paint,” she told The Express Tribune.
She identified the reason behind her inclination towards painting women as the people’s abusive behavior towards them.
“Women are widely abused in the Pakistani society… seeing and reading about violence against women makes me want to paint women as powerful or at peace,” she told The Tribune.
Some of the women in the paintings are shown playing musical instruments, some restrained in a room and others holding flowers.
However, one with a woman sitting with swans and another showing horses were most appreciated.
“Horses are beautiful creatures and a symbol of strength.
By displaying them with paintings of women, I have tried to make a strong statement about beauty and empowerment,” she said.
The Islamabad based artist, who has had her work displayed in 11 solo shows and about 10 group shows in the country, has a diploma in painting and sculpture from Hunar Kada Institute.
Explaining why she had stopped sculpting and shifted to painting only, she said, “Market for sculptures is very small in Pakistan.”
Mahnaz Sukhera, the curator of the Collector’s Galleria said the artist had improved substantially over time. “Her work is richer now,” she said.
Maqsood, a visitor to the art exhibition, said the women in the paintings did not appear independent and strong to him.
He said her explanation contradicted with the exhibition title. He called the paintings “eye candy” and said painting romanticism could have been clever.
The paintings are priced between Rs32,000 and Rs68,000.
The exhibition will continue till May 7. More than half of Hussain’s work has been sold during the first two days of the exhibition.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 4th, 2012.