On a four-by-seven canvas, Rafia Butt, a recent graduate from National College of Arts has painted a tin-roof countryside house with an open door leading to a hill.
“I like painting landscapes. Details make these paintings better. They push an artist to be more perceptive,” she says.
She is one of 10 winners at the eighth annual Alhamra Art Gallery exhibition of paintings, sculptures, ceramics and graphic arts titled Day after Tomorrow. Six en certificates were handed out to encourage those participating for the first time.
Around 325 pieces by 272 students and graduates of Beaconhouse National University, National College of Arts and Punjab University are on display.
While most of the prizes went to NCA graduates, Tanya Suhail, the curator, also praised the improvement in the work of Punjab University students.
Suhail was also content with the variety of themes.
24-year old Maria Khan, another winner and a teacher at the PU art school said her 122 cm by 122 cm acrylic and charcoal canvas was a self portrait questioning the idea of social acceptability. I have reflected an event in my life. It is very personal in some ways. I portray myself waiting for something exciting to happen,” she says. This piece titled Rabbin, is one of the most discussed at the exhibition.
Ali Mansoor, another recent NCA graduate, who received an encouragement certificate has only one piece on show.
The untitled piece shows four half-dressed men. “I become the voyeur. I make a political statement and critique the perception of the viewer,” he says.
Tahir Ali’s mix mediam oil, acrylic, emulsion, water, wood and tin is a mammoth work. Ali, 25, says “I wanted to incorporate as many mediums as possible. I think they blended well,” he says. “The piece took me 20 days to finish. The work is priced at Rs107,000.”
Zara Asghar, 24, is showcasing two charcoal-on-canvas pieces portraying isolation. One piece shows a woman seated opposite a reindeer sculpture fixed to a wall.
Esmaeil Arbab, an Iranian student at NCA, has sculpted an eight-pointed star.
“It signifies the spread of Islam,” Arbab says, “Although the piece seems only four pointed, the shadow on the ground makes it eight. It is a symbol of religion. It has been a significant feature in Islamic and Catholic manuscripts.”
Julius John has painted a sinking sun he says he had photographed from a bus stop on Ferozepur Road.
“I chose to paint it for a class assignment. I was experimenting with pigments,” John says.
Teacher and art critic Qudoos Mirza says it was difficult to ‘read’ most of the pieces. He says he likes the sculptures made out of nest hay.
Curator Tanya Suhail says this year the jury consisted of Dr Shahid Manzoor, head of the PHD programme in fine arts at the PU, Ayesha Jatoi, another teacher and contemporary art collector, and Muhammad Ali Talpur, a painter and a teacher of contemporary arts at the NCA.
Suhail says nearly a one-third of the art collected for the display had to be returneed. “The LAC is a world-renown art gallery. We had to pick and present the best,” she explains.
The exhibit will run till April 28 (Saturday).
Published in The Express Tribune, April 15th, 2012.
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I am quite fascinated about the exhibition by reading the description. and I hope to visit it soon InshaAllah!