Artist exhibits life’s changing colours on canvas

Maha Mussadaq May 24, 2010

ISLAMABAD: Ups and downs in life serve as inspiration for the paintings exhibited at the Shah Latif Community Centre in Islamabad.

Some 40 paintings of Niaz Hussain were on display at the solo painting exhibition that concluded on Monday. Hussain has used oil as a base for all his paintings. These paintings follow the life story of Hussain- from broody and dark to relaxed and happy. The earlier collection, painted in 2006, focuses on people confined together in small dark spaces that have a claustrophobic feel to them. “[I painted the darker paintings] when I was going through a rough patch in life.

Back then, dark blues, browns and blacks would come naturally to me,” he told The Express Tribune. These paintings focus on people, especially their faces with particular attention to the eyes. The faces, devoid of any emotions, coupled with the dark colours help give these paintings a sense of despair. Hussain’s later paintings, in contrast, change their focus from people to landscapes and are drawn in brighter colours. “[The later paintings, with their bright colours] portray the happy life that I live now,” Hussain said.

Most of these later paintings feature trees in full bloom, with leaves of different colours. Though Hussain maintains his earlier, darker style, the lighter colours used in the latter paintings help give them a happier feel. In a way, the latter collection is a depiction of happiness that comes after having experienced sorrow. To a question, Hussain said his experience in Islamabad was “very exciting” and said “he would love to come back [for another exhibition]”.

Serving as the head of the Department of Fine Arts at Divisional Public School and College in Faisalabad, Hussain has been trying to encourage students to explore their artistic sides and believes the government needs to pay more attention to art as a subject being taught in schools. “We should not discourage children from scribbling- it is a freedom of expression and by controlling that we are destroying their natural abilities to explore art as a subject,” he said.

Hussain also serves as the chairperson of Guljee Art gallery in Faisalabad. “I am trying to promote art in Faisalabad by conducting various seminars, workshops and book launches. I also conduct training sessions at the gallery for [art] teachers,” he concluded.

Published in the Express Tribune, May 25th, 2010.


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