Art exhibition: In the nomads’ footsteps

Show celebrates diversity of cultures, inspirations.

Our Correspondent June 03, 2014
The artworks offer glimpses into the country’s history and traditions. PHOTO: EXPRESS


An exhibition comprising photo prints, watercolours and mixed media paintings will open at the Nomad Art Gallery on Tuesday.

Titled “Nomadic footsteps,” the show features photography by Nageen Hyat, watercolours and calligraphy by Riffat Khattak and mixed media paintings juxtaposed with pen-and-ink sketches by Nadeem Ahmed, who are part of Nomad’s “Shanaakht” team.

Showcasing a diversity of scenery, people and architectural structures, the showcase is a vibrant manifestation of cultures, ideas and inspirations within the country and beyond. It also celebrates movement, energy and colour, resulting in a kaleidoscope of imagery.

Hyat’s portfolio reveals her travels to Skardu and the walled city of Lahore. From mountain peaks shot from within the cockpit of an aircraft to the trunk of a massive tree that is naturally carved into a cave. The sights take one on a visual tour to rediscover the raw beauty of nature.

Glimpses of prominent mosques and monuments such as the Wazir Khan Mosque and Sonehri Masjid also figure in the series that talks about conservation projects. The ongoing Walled City Project envisages the creation of a heritage trail Shahi Guzargah that leads from Delhi Gate to Lahore Fort.

Amidst the bustling markets or narrow lanes, people go calmly about their business in stark contrast to the stresses of urban life.

Meanwhile, dabbling in rich colour and layered texture, Ahmed has merged tradition with history. While one of the series is homage to the art on wheels in the country, where the colours are inspired from nature, the other one speaks about his recent visit to Zambia.

“Even in adverse conditions, these people remained forthcoming and the joy they found in their lives was overwhelming and contagious,” said Ahmed. Some of the tourist attractions such as the famous lake Victoria Falls are depicted in his artwork. The sketches and paintings combine the cultures of Pakistan and Zambia. The copper tones used in the paintings represent Zambia’s main source of income, copper.

Khattak’s soft brushstrokes lend a loose, tranquil quality to his paintings, with some verses from the poetry of Ghani Khan.

He depicts rustic life in a surrealistic setting, women enjoying around a tandoor or taking swings, men playing some music instrument such as rubab or tabla and the ruins of a wall which alludes to the ravages of conflict in the region. While he is currently based in the capital, the paintings are reminiscent of the love he harbours for his hometown in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 3rd, 2014.


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