Art exhibition: ‘I do not want to stir controversy’

Ufaq Ehsan’s ‘symbolic’ work on display till March 16.

Sonia Malik March 07, 2013
“My work is symbolic simply because I do not want to stir controversy,” says Ehsan.


As many as 17 art pieces by Ufaq Ehsan went on display at the Colours Art Gallery on Thursday.

Ehsan, who works as an art therapist at the International American School, has made use of colours to reflect emotions. The work on display is a collection of paintings [in mix media and oil] depicting motherhood and childhood.

“My work is symbolic simply because I do not want to stir controversy,” said Ehsan, who also runs an inspirational art club at her home.

“During my art career, spanning over 20 years, I have often depicted motherhood differently. Vow in a piece titled Motherhood symbolises a womb. Baby is often in a vowing position when inside the mother,” said Ehsan, who is a single mother to a 16-year-old.

“It also represents the Sufi idea of mother earth and rebirth after death.” she added.

A series of her paintings, titled Red or Rose, marks heavy use of the colour red. Her latest works, however, make more use of violets, magenta and indigo, which she says reflect peace and spirituality.

Ehsan said that red indicates inspiration, blood, activity and energy. She said her work reflected rising with determination.

She said she employs silk paints, water colours, acrylics, colour pencils, oils and ink in her work.

“Many artists engage in work reflecting the socio-political situation of the country but I like producing work that is an amalgamation of the effects that aroma, colour, music or paint therapies have,” she said.

“In my studio, I discuss philosophy, comparative religion and art history with students. In some ways, it also shows in my work,” she said.

“Pencil and ink are also used heavily…I took a minor in print making at the National College of Arts,” she said.

Ehsan said she was first inspired to become an artist when she laid her eyes on a mural by Sadequain at the Mangla dam power house. She said Abdur Rahman Chughtai’s work also inspires her as it is ‘lyrical and calming.’ Two of Ehsan’s paintings titled Zainab and Salat are dedicated to her dearest friend and sister.

“My family and close ones have always supported me,” she said.

The exhibition will go on till March 16. The prices of the displayed pieces range from Rs30,000 to Rs200,000.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 8th, 2013.


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