KARACHI: Canvas Gallery opened its doors for five artists, namely Abid Aslam, Manisha Jiani, Seher Naveed, Maria Khan and Shiblee Munir, who incorporate meditation into their work and convey it though their drawings. The group show is titled ‘Drawing Mandalas’ and exhibits 18 various kinds of art work.
From ring on wasli to charcoal on canvas to even cut drawings on plexiglass — the artists bring forth some exquisite art techniques for art aficionados. The exhibition opened on August 28 and will continue till September 6.
The most interesting aspect of the exhibition is the beauty of five artists translating their individual senses of perception and ability of seeing patterns and objects in the form of layers and textures.
By pinning rings of wasli — the metal rings found on sneakers to hold laces — into the canvas, Aslam captures the urban landscape. Some of the iconic buildings he makes from his one of a kind representation of art include ‘M for Pakistan’ depicting Minar-i-Pakistan and ‘China Chowk’.
On the other hand, Naveed uses eight layers of plexiglass to create the images that delightfully look like small miniature three-dimensional doll houses placed in a painting. According to the press release, Naveed’s work presents a two-dimensional effect in a three-dimensional format. Out of a series of six, only three are being exhibited. The three titled ‘And those house. They will never live again’ (1, 2 and 3), are inspired by the photographs of the older and better times and are also reminiscent of Persian miniatures.
Jiani’s work is more about images appearing on vandalised canvas. She made cuts on the canvas using a sharp object and then drew on it. Using bold colours like black, blue, grey and red she presents her illustration in a two-dimensional effect.
Where Jiani’s work shows the creative side of sabotage, Munir’s highlights abstract geometrics images with tones of black and grey. His work urges one to believe that what we see are walls meant to separate one from the hustle bustle of the world and provide a sanctuary for peaceful and secluded meditation.
The only person whose imagery advocates the morbidity of life and ageing is Maria Khan. Her work depicts old women wearing frilly dresses that seem fit for baby girls. The artist herself confesses that she wanted to show women who wear “suffocating frills and roses”. She craftily uses the charcoal on canvas technique to capture the dark moods of her old, wrinkled female muse.
While talking to The Express Tribune about this delightfully unorthodox artwork, Muhammad Zeeshan, the curator of this event says, “Medium-wise, texture-wise all these pieces more or less follow the same pattern; the most dominant technique being the art of drawing. All these artists have displayed their dexterity with drawing in their own way.”
Published in The Express Tribune, September 3rd, 2012.
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