Solo exhibition: A walk on roses where ‘Roses were Blue’

Published: September 24, 2016
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LAHORE: A solo show titled ‘Roses Were Blue’ by Imrana Tanveer opened at the Taseer Art Gallery on Thursday, features five art works created using paper and thread as a medium predominately speaking of how roses can offer more than one sensation for onlookers.

According to Imrana, her pieces featuring roses are open for subjective interpretation. “A rose can be associated with certain memories, a portrait, a landscape or it can even remind you of a travel experience,” she said.

The art pieces were presented with the entire floor covered in rose petals, since according to Imrana, she wanted people to experience the art coupled with the sense of smelling and walking on roses.

Speaking of her piece ‘Chashme Baddoor’ featuring the current prime minister’s portrait, the artist said she had deliberately distorted the eyes. “I’ve tried to signify the concept of distortion in the context of the current political turmoil Nawaz Sharif’s party is going through,” she explained. “That distortion is my way of looking at the scenario surrounding this political figure.”

For another piece titled ‘Naam-e-Amaal’ featuring carpets, Imrana said she had created the imagery using newspaper advertisements specifically looking to hire cheap labour for the Middle East. “The inspiration behind the work comes from the culture of how Middle East captures our manpower for their purposes,” she added.

“Leftover or discarded carpets from the Middle East that obviously don’t mean much to the rich Sheikhs, when sold off to Pakistan become a status symbol here,” Imrana said while explaining the phenomenon of how the same thing is viewed and valued differently.

Imrana is a visual artist and writer based in Karachi. She holds degrees from the National College of Arts of Lahore and the Textile Institute of Pakistan in Karachi.

Her work incorporates weaving and textiles, and appropriates iconic images from both Western and Pakistani art and culture to address social and political issues, both locally in Pakistan and globally.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 24th, 2016.

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