Painter and art collector Sakina Ahmed Shah is passionate about promoting young creative talent in the capital. With an informal art display studio based out of her residence in Sector E-11, “For the love of art,” she aims to showcase amateur and budding artists in the absence of similar outlets.
Shah started out a few months back. “I realised that there are many young artists who have not gotten the attention they deserve as most of the art galleries either charge a high premium or sell overpriced pieces by established names,” she said, adding that she has been handpicking pieces from random places such as art bazaar and street artists.
The selection process ensures variety in the display, which features unique pieces by a mix of artists.
The current collection comprises around 90 pieces including paintings, calligraphy and sketches, combines the work of five locals artists under one roof. Among these, the relatively experienced Israr Farooqui and Sulehri have picked their subjects and decided on their styles, while others such as Zaheer Abbas and Asmat are still in the experimental phases where they are exploring their subjects and maturing in their respective practice.
Meanwhile, her personal artistic interest lies in creative abstracts that are both, visually appealing as well as affordable. To her, the aesthetic is as important as the price. “I’m interested in displaying meaningful art, which has some depth to it so it can be worthwhile,” she said.
Instead of affixing a commission on the displayed artworks, she asks the artists for a cut-off price and adds a modest surcharge accordingly. “I’m not really drawing lucrative profits but it is important to cover the expenses,” she said.
Shah, who holds an MBA in Human Resource Management, grew up around art and enjoys frequenting art galleries. Her mother's name is Lubna Ahmed. She's an NCA graduate in Graphic Design and has taught for 13 years in Islamabad.
While Shah ultimately wants to open her own art gallery at some point, for now she has been catering to a steady clientele based on word-of-mouth marketing. She takes orders from home, operates by appointment and can also be contacted via the studio’s Facebook page.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 16th, 2014.