Art exhibition: Women’s liberation and art

Diverse artists use different mediums in their work

Hafsah Sarfraz April 19, 2016
The artists come from different backgrounds. Their work reflects their experiences and shows a different kind of maturity and variety. PHOTOS: EXPRESS


The various forms of female liberation were the overarching themes of a group exhibition titled, Fabric, on display at My Art World, featuring the works of six diverse artists, on Monday.

The six artists, Scheherzade Junejo, Annem Zaidi, Saqiba Suleman, Babar Mughal, Ayesha Khan, and Hassan Shah Gillani, come from different backgrounds and use unique and varying techniques of art including oil on canvas, oil and acrylic on canvas, and pencil on paper.

Their work reflects their experiences and shows a different kind of maturity and variety.

While Scheherzade and Babar showcased the liberation of a woman’s body in their respective pieces, Annem Zaidi presented a veil on a hidden face.

Similarly, Saqiba Suleman used her canvas to portray the story of a girl wearing bright floral prints.

The most beautiful aspect of the show is that every piece had a story to tell and each story varied according to the perception of the viewer, which is in fact the aim of the artwork.

Saqiba Suleman, who hails from Hasilpur in Punjab, said that the figures she had painted on canvas
were a means of communication between the observer and her.

“The message is that if a delicate balance between human figure and adorned backgrounds of floral wreaths is stuck, it can transform any ordinary image into magical realism,” she said.

Scheherzade Junejo’s work was primarily inspired by dance, mime, yoga, and theatre.

“My work began as an observation of human behavior through postures, movements, and portions of anatomy. This exploration evolved into a study of polarity. The essence of polarity first translated into my colour palette. I prefer to work with two extremes – black and white,” she added.

On the other hand, Babar Mughal drew his inspiration from music.

He thinks that visual art bypasses all censors and penetrates our subconscious just as music does with emotional content.

“It is better to let a visual idea grow on itself rather than plainly stating its allegorical meaning. It is far more potent when viewers are allowed to discover its mystery on their own,” he added.

Annem Zaidi, an artist who is currently settled in Dubai, said that painting of a woman came naturally to her.

“I feel a desire to depict femininity in my paintings and can relate to it the best. I am highly inspired by the old masters’ painting techniques and therefore, use glazing techniques in my paintings,” she explained.

Ayesha Khan, one of the artists exhibiting her work, is a recipient of the Charles Wallace Scholarship in the United Kingdom and has participated in exhibitions in the USA at numerous art institutions, including Yale.

She said that her work was representational and non-figurative, merging surrealism and realism.

“I draw inspiration from religion and conversation since I celebrate both the ordinary and extraordinary experiences of everyday life and the paradoxes defining urban lifestyles and attitudes. My work is tragicomic reflection of the humor and the irony in human nature and life itself,” she said.

The exhibition will run till April 26.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 20th,  2016.


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