Stroke of a brush: Of ‘heroes and history’ humourously

Solo exhibition by Sophia Balagamwala on display at Taseer Art Gallery

Mariam Shafqat February 07, 2017

LAHORE: The artwork of Sophia Balagamwala — a Karachi-based artist — are on display at an exhibition at the famed Taseer Art Gallery of the walled city on Tuesday.

The solo exhibition of the artist, titled Heroes and Others, displayed acrylic work on beautifully crafted canvases.

Balagamwala said she tried to create a space through her work where history could meet fiction with a dash of humour.

“I am interested in how stories are constructed; in particular, the myths of national heroes and national histories,” she said.

The Karachi-based artist used a visual language, which according to her, was deeply motivated by children’s books and political caricatures.

Balagamwala, however, insisted that creating humour out of caricatures, while being a political critic could be complex.

Her set of paintings titled ‘Admiral angoor and general ghulaab’ were also showcased at the exhibition which would continue until February 10.

“The comical nature of my work has provided interesting narratives of people and cities in the past and I intended to continue using this visual language,” Balagamwala said.

Sanam Taseer, being the curator of the exhibition, highlighted how the artist made use of images to bash public figures and politicians.

“The subjects themselves may be fictional, but it is still a powerful and potent political critique of our historical figures,” Taseer concluded.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 8th, 2017.


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