Pouring with talent: ‘Raindrops keep falling on my head’

Artist Hafsa Shaikh’s first solo exhibition ends on Wednesday

Our Correspondent October 02, 2016

KARACHI: For artist Hafsa Shaikh, distorted and blurry images present a view that is "fairly refreshing and challenging at the same time."

Shaikh's first solo show titled 'Behind the Droplets' is being held at ArtScene Galleries. The emerging artists graduated this year with a degree in fine arts from Mehran University, Jamshoro.

Speaking about the exhibition, she said in her artist's statement, "I like everything which is blurred, hazy and cloudy. It attracts me. I use water on the glass to create a shifting lens for the way we see the environment."

Using oil on canvas, she depicts images from everyday interactions but posits them in the background with raindrops in the front. The raindrops seek to give a soothing and somewhat nostalgic effect to the paintings.

"The droplets seem refreshing to me," she said, adding "I focus on the droplets to make sure the backdrop is blurred and the distortion occurs automatically in the images."

Pointing towards a painting in which people are walking on a street with a blazing sun over their heads. Adding the raindrop effect to the picture brings the focus on people's shadows.  "This was the first ever image which focuses on sunrise and the shadows. This painting is based on everyday interactions in Nawabshah city."

The artist's other works include a vase of flowers, traffic on the road, a blurry portrait of a girl, labourers engaged in work and landscape images from Hyderabad, where Shaikh currently resides.

Speaking about the medium, Shaikh said "It is very easy to use. My hand has a better grip on it."

Shaikh claims to be inspired by the works of two artists, Gregory Thielker and Imran Channa, who work predominantly with distorted and blurred images. According to the artist, she started experimenting with distorted images while working on her thesis, titled 'Distortion'.  Amjad Saeed, who heads the gallery, said, "She [Shaikh] plays with a different thought-process; sometimes it is the waves, sometimes it is rain droplets. We at the gallery try to give a chance to emerging artists and promote their talent." The show will continue till October 5.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 3rd, 2016.

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