As many as 30 mixed media on paper and water pieces by Ufaq Ehsan are being showcased at the Saeed Akhtar Studio as part of Cosmic Harmony—a solo show—underway at the establishment since March 31.
Ehsan, a therapist and a visual artist, said making sense of the impact of colour on human psyche and the symbolic meaning of an individual art piece was her foremost priority. “The language of symbols is situated at a threshold between the physical and the metaphysical. Sufi literature, colours and symbols play a crucial role in my work, she said.
The artist said colours and symbols remained constant across cultures and had universal currency. This, she said, was a reflection of one’s feelings, thoughts and memories. Ehsan said she had primarily derived inspiration from the universal elements of peace, love and motherhood.
“For example, feelings peculiar to motherhood have remained constant universally. They never seem to undergo a transformation or get marred by anything negative,” Ehsan said. The artist said she used colour in her work to fashion paintings that were visually and intellectually appealing. She said her work was beautiful to a degree that it obeyed cosmic order and therefore reflected universal beauty. Ehsan said her paintings were also a journey of a spiritual discovery and understanding the universe.
“Like cosmology, my paintings further the message of unity wherein the entire universe is encompassed in a single unit inclusive of all creations—both, the physical and the metaphysical—all engaged in venerating God,” she said. Ehsan said she had also made use of the Urdu alphabet in her work.
“I have sidestepped imagery and focused on symbolism. for me represents a child and collective sub-consciousness. It also symbolises the transfer of knowledge from one generation to another,” she said.
Ehsan obtained a bachelor’s in fine arts from the National College of Arts (NCA) in 1996. The exhibition will conclude on April 8.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 6th, 2016.