Exploring dreamscapes: Piecing together dream remnants

Abstract paintings by Scotland-based artist on display.

Maryam Usman February 19, 2014
Mughal’s paintings invite the viewer to interpret the emotions captured on canvas. PHOTOS: EXPRESS


Beyond the realm of lucid dreams, there are vestiges of thought that linger in the subconscious mind before blurring into reality. Delving into depths of the mind, a Scotland-based artist Shakir Mughal has explored non-tangible dreamscapes in his latest body of work.

An exhibition, “Dreaming colours,” comprising 20 oil-on-canvas paintings was showcased at the Jharoka Art Gallery on Tuesday.

“I have tried to narrate my dreams in many forms and shapes with colours in a conceptual way. Most of the time, it is hard to recall what we have seen in our dreams. However, we try hard to remember and put the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle together,” said the artist.

All of the abstract paintings are contemporary in their treatment and use of colour. The palette merges a combination of solid colours such as green, black, red, blue and yellow into a labyrinth of patterns. Intermittent earthen tones are present, but the overall collection remains moody.

An amalgamation of various techniques including dripping and thick brushstrokes, the pieces are bold in both texture and colour. Instead of limiting the dimensions of colour, Mughal is mindful of letting it all flow in rhythms that the pieces take up on their own. Like dreams, they have a free-floating essence.

“The paintings are very modern and the kind that are usually exhibited in galleries abroad. Shakir is an enthusiastic artist. I love how the emotion, the feeling and colours all come together into a beautiful painting,” said Nahida Raza, the gallery curator.

“The abstract work has a language of its own and it’s good to have insight into this kind of art, which is somewhat elusive to the ordinary viewer,” said Shuja, a visitor at the gallery.

The artist has previously exhibited in Scotland as well as in Pakistan. He takes inspiration from Paul Jackson Pollock, who was an influential American painter and a major figure in the abstract expressionist movement.

The Norwegian ambassador Cecilie Landsverk inaugurated the exhibition that will continue until February 28.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 19th, 2014.


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