A furniture exhibition themed ‘Revival of Islamic crafts’ by Fauzia Azim opened at the Revivers’ Galleria on Monday. It was inaugurated by artists Bashir Ahmed and Saeed Akhtar.
Linen and jewellery boxes, coffee tables, a mother-of-pearl console, a mother-of-pearl cabinet and a writing desk were exhibited.
Azim said her work was influenced by Roman, early Christian, Byzantine, Sassanid, and Central Asian art. “Islamic art is not limited to a region or period. It is also not restricted to certain media. Its arabesque designs signify its transcendent, invisible and infinite nature,” she said.
“Muslim invasions expanded the repertoire of Islamic motifs. The craftsmen respected the culture and traditions of the conquered territories,” she said.
Ahmed, the chief guest, said that the furniture displayed was imbued with artistic harmony. He said it was characterised by subtlety, delicacy and elegance. The densely patterned mother-of-pearl khatamakari and naqqashi was prominent in Azim’s work. The swirling arabesque, split leaves, rosettes and geometric patterns left onlookers mesmerised, he said.
Curator Sana Anjum said, “The exhibition is fabulous.”
Anjum said that Azim had received an enthusiastic response from senior artists and collectors. “Her heirloom pieces bear testimony to her skill with Naqqashi and khatamkari,” she said.
Yousaf Salahuddin, a collector, said, “I am moved by the exhibition. Azim has breathed new life into our art and depicted our true heritage. The pieces are divine... they showcase the talent of our craftsmen.”
Imrana Tiwana, of the Lahore Bachao Tehreek, said, “These crafts depict the rich heritage of Pakistan that we need to own and take pride in.” She said she hoped that Azim’s work would be appreciated as Islamic art.
Azim graduated in product design from the National College of Arts in 1981. She received an MPhil from the College of Arts and Design (Punjab University). The exhibition will continue till October 12.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 1st, 2013.
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