KARACHI: Taking a cue from the mythological stories like the 'Tree of Life' and drawing inspiration from literary works of some of the giants of English literature, artist Laila Rahman has created seven art pieces either using just the medium of oil on canvas or oil and pencil on canvas.
The seven paintings being exhibited at Chawkandi Art Gallery under the title 'Blind Oblivion' shed light on man, the creation and its disruption through unique symbols such as a pomegranate.
"This newest collection I started to paint eight months back. In the fourth piece titled, 'The Archipelago of Happiness' you would see the tree of life growing in water. It is beautiful and calm, but it gets greatly affected once you spot mankind there," says Rahman.
Embroidery and patterns light up Canvas Gallery
While borrowing a line from AE Housman's work for her second artwork titled 'The Land of Lost Content', she brings nostalgia into effect. "The tree of life gets affected by mankind; it's deliberately used and abused. It gets ruined and corrupt, and is always the first to be attacked."
There are paintings portraying a pomegranate which are in Rahman's words, 'too red, too ripe and too much of everything'. The first piece titled 'Forsaken' depicts the redness in a pomegranate. In the seventh artwork, she portrays 'Discord', where the pomegranate is being sliced into four pieces.
In another painting, 'Ship of Fools', Plato's long lost vision of chaos takes command, as anarchy and chaos prevail. She calls it a ship with people. It has images of animals on a sliced pomegranate resembling a ship. The unicorn resembles innocence, lion - courage, antelope - adaptability, wolf - mothering, butterfly - ability to change, dragonfly - freewill and the monkey head is referring to intelligence. "It is really a reflection of what we have lost and destroyed," she says.
Miniature paintings on display at Sanat
In 'Endless Night' she merges the 'Tree of Life' and an image of an oyster. She says, "The tree of life continues to grow, as we see in the oyster, which is surrounded by several curves and rings around it, which are guardian angels in a sheltering manner".
Finally, declaring the plight of our times through Samuel Beckett's words, "The Moon is weary… of climbing heaven and gazing on the likes of us," Rahman releases her frustration as she has done through these pieces that talk at length about life and so much more.
'Blind Oblivion' continues till April 25.