LAHORE: Fourteen paintings by miniature artists Mortar Zafar and Sana Shafique exploring intricacies of life and the relationship between human beings and nature are on display at Taseer Art Gallery.
The exhibition, titled Turning Shadows, features six pieces by Zafar and eight by Shafique. Zafar, a National College of Arts graduate, has used gouache, sliver leaf and ink on wasli in her work.
“Since my childhood I have been experiencing restraints of various nature limiting my choices,” Zafar says. The patterns, she says, speak of everything that is “shackled and braced around me”. Her work represents freedom guided by limitations, she says. For Zafar landscapes, appearing as restrained patterns, are a “true and real depiction of life”.
The artist says her experiences are not subjective. She says the intricacies she has painted represent an order of nature. Explaining her technique, Zafar says she superimposes patterns onto natural forms. The patterns, she says, represent a critique of a mentality that does not allow one to see things as they are.
Zafar says she considers herself as an objective spectator. To others the world appears to be a portrayal marred by some imposed patterns or restraints. “Let me say that our society has changed the appearance of everything. Call me, if you may, a rebel artist attempting to show you these chains,” she says.
Shafique, a miniature artist based in Lahore, has used gouache on wasli in her work, titled Beauty in Deformity, Self-reflection, Mysterious Ways, Tangled Trees and Invisible to the Eyes. Shafique says her work revolves around a subtle exploration of her identity. “It is about inner beauty and the relationship between the human and the nature. My compositions are strongly influenced by the dream-like-world of Max Ernst [a German artist].” “I compose these elements in a surrealist manner to create my own visual vocabulary,” Shafique says. “I observe and carefully extract certain elements that people often overlook.”
The exhibition will continue until April 16.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 12th, 2016.