Visual treat: Of flowers, life and God

Published: December 4, 2015
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Instead of painting depression in her work, Mona Naqsh focuses on flowers. She incorporates calligraphy into her flowery paintings as well. PHOTOS: COURTESY KOEL GALLERY

Instead of painting depression in her work, Mona Naqsh focuses on flowers. She incorporates calligraphy into her flowery paintings as well. PHOTOS: COURTESY KOEL GALLERY

KARACHI: The very idea that an artist can focus their work on a single theme for 27 years of her life makes one pause and wonder about the meaning of the subject in question. Mona Naqsh is a fine example of this phenomenon, who has been working on flowers all this while. She plans to take it forward too.

An exhibition of her latest works, titled ‘Reincarnation of Soul’ at Koel Art Gallery, on the surface, is a simple exhibit of flowers. Arranged in elaborate, antique vases or in simple glass containers, they are a burst of colours, patterns and finesse.

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“Flowers are schools of growth and education,” Naqsh explains to The Express Tribune. “They are communicators of joy, achievement, contentment and everything that gives one inner satisfaction.”

Mona says she doesn’t want to paint depression in her work as it is something that prevails around us anyway. “I want my work to offer hope and satisfaction to those who look at it,” she said.

Another interesting element that Naqsh has added to her flower arrangements is calligraphy. The Arabic text describes the circle of life, complimenting the flowers in the paintings.

The flowers follow the metaphorical completion of how God recreates life from the dead in the same way a seed is given life after a plant dies. “It is a way to show God’s doing and the text and flowers tend to share this combined meaning,” says Naqsh. She is comfortable with all mediums, from water colors to pencil and pen. For this particular exhibition, she has extensively worked on oil on canvas, giving the floral petals the sleek, shiny finishing they deserve.

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The artist also believes that ‘drama’ should be kept to a minimum in art as it creates a hurdle between the viewers’ and the artist’s communication. For this reason, one finds that there is nothing complicated about the message of peace and contentment that Naqsh has set to impart through nature. In her work, what you see is exactly what is meant to be seen.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 5th,  2015.

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