Five young artists put together an interesting take on the facets of the ordinary world that are probably overlooked by many. The exhibition, “Gridations”, opened at Satrang Gallery, Serena Hotel, on Thursday.
The exhibition brings together 30 art pieces which individualise each artist yet keep a common theme between them.
Each artist has worked brilliantly within their medium and has brought something unique to the fore, said Ali, a visitor. For instance, Shibli Munir, a miniature artist, sticks to his theme but with a unique twist. Each of his Mughal-themed work depicts black vertical and horizontal grids, which give a unique effect to his work.
Shahzad Hassan Ghazi, on the other hand, displays his relationship with grids by painting upon sheets of tin that rust over time and change form. This representation adds an interesting dimension to his subject matter.
Moreover, Ghazi has chosen to portray electrical towers and transformers in his pieces and selected a base which will transform over time while his paintings remain unchanged. Thus, he analyses the link that human beings have with technology, especially with communication.
Unlike Ghazi, Afshan Yousaf paints in the miniature tradition and presents her work upon a conventional wasli. However, her subjects are quite unconventional. She portrays chessboards, masks and electrical towers in her work and in doing so, she likens life and art to a game of chess – a confined power play.
“Articulating emotions and feelings through the use of electricity poles and wires symbolises infinity. In my work, poles and chessboards indicate we are tangled in innumerable situations internally and externally,” says the young aspiring artist.
Naureen Rasheed from NCA Lahore deconstructs miniature painting into its bare essentials – lines and planes. Rasheed’s work is reminiscent of a basic introduction to miniature artwork. The repetition of slender lines creates entire pieces – devoid of colour yet solid and complete with the use of white thread over a plain black canvas. According to the artist, the influences behind her work are beyond traditional practices of miniature art.
Meanwhile, Fahad Hameed, another artist whose work is also featured, is concerned with mankind’s growing reliance on technological innovation. His work represents man’s disregard towards the environmental effects of his actions. Hameed’s work is traditional in its subject matter – a man in a Mughal garb, or the portrayal of a battle scene. However, his methods are unique; he has obscured those traditional scenes with complicated grids made of strong lines and colour blocks.
US Ambassador’s wife Dr Marilyn Wyatt, who was the chief guest on the occasion, appreciated the unconventional take on the theme and applauded the young artists’ efforts.
She said that grids imply order, structure, logic, technological design and innovation. They also suggest rigidity, imprisonment, and entrapment.
“These pieces portray some kind of a tension between structure and imprisonment and reflect the way technology defines our modern life,” she said.
Dr Wyatt was of the view that gridation is not only visual but also describes the basic flow of time. History is not grid-like, but gradated, a process of gradual change. Things become their opposite and then eventually flow back again to an original state. The exhibition will continue till July 20.
With additional input from Maha Mussadaq
Published In The Express Tribune, June 22nd, 2012.