ISLAMABAD: A summer art exhibition went on display at Nomad Art Gallery on Saturday. Titled “Shifting Narratives”, the exhibition comprises archived as well as some fresh artwork by 30 artists.
The 70-plus pieces on display feature varying techniques such as miniature, calligraphy, oil and acrylic paints, pen and ink, watercolours, screen prints and mixed media.
“This is more of a dialogue and a very open-ended art exhibition,” said Nageen Hyat, the gallery owner and curator. “We are not trying to work with anything that is finalised from our point of view; it is very open for the viewer,” she said. While setting up the exhibition, Hyat said she felt the display was culturally relevant and local, as opposed to the global context that art is usually perceived in.
Tayyaba Aziz has introduced some new pieces in continuum of her signature traditional-meets-modern art series. Her focus on female faces, bright ornamentation and florals stands out amid the lively, summery palette. The fragmentation of images is juxtaposed with smooth lines, fusing figurative with geometric elements.
Anjum Ayub has experimented with a Warhol-esque image, depicting a diversity of moods and facial paper in squares of printmaking such as collage, newspaper and etched intaglio. Another piece shows the silhouettes of a man and a woman, perhaps waiting on a train station. The textured paper and solid colour lend it a contemporary feel.
Nadeem Ahmed brings out a new dimension to the traditional truck art, adding textures and colour to emulate rows of the colourful vehicles, capturing the flickering head beams of the vehicles that whizz by under the dark, starless night.
Ahmed Habib’s intricate figurative paintings illustrated woman’s role in society, and how she is looked at, albeit in a positive light. The fine detailing and earthen tones lend his canvas a soft look.
What is particularly interesting in the displayed calligraphy is how each artist has dealt with the medium, imbuing their personal feel to the art pieces. For example, Maniza Janbaz and Mian Athar’s works exude an almost retro feel to the holy script. Similarly, Shehzad Zar’s calligraphy painting on dried leaves is a one-of-its-kind display.
Steeped in spirituality, Shafique Farooqi’s swirling dervishes painted in acrylic are a homage to his over three decades long residence in Turkey. Ubaid Syed’s melancholic paintings are reminiscent of the northern lights as seen in his previous exhibitions. Nahid Raza’s painting is a fresh take on feminism, dominated by a bold palette.
Sussana Huesmann, a German artist who has previously exhibited paintings of the famous blue burqa band at the same gallery, also features in the current exhibition, which will continue until July 31.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 7th, 2014.