Pakistan’s finest: Paintings depicting mountains, water bodies displayed at Lok Virsa

Exhibition was culmination of art competition held to commemorate World Mountain Day last month.


The paintings depict the country’s landscapes as seen by the budding artists. PHOTO: HUMA CHOUDHARY/EXPRESS

ISLAMABAD: An exhibition of paintings portraying the grandeur of mountains and water bodies of the country was organised at the Lok Virsa Heritage Museum on Tuesday.

The paintings were the culmination of an art competition organised by the Development Communications Network (Devcom – Pakistan) in collaboration with Capital Development Authority as part of the fourth Pakistan Mountain Festival to commemorate World Mountain Day on December 11 last year.

“The idea was to engage our youth into creative and environment-friendly informal education and raise awareness about issues such as climate, environment and human rights through such endeavors,” said Devcom – Pakistan Director Munir Ahmed.

A total of 67 oil-on-canvas paintings were displayed at the exhibition. The participants, who were given four hours to paint, comprised mostly young women from the colleges and universities of the twin cities. The prize winners were divided in post-graduate, undergraduate and amateur youth categories.

“It was extremely challenging to finish the painting in a limited time as normally, in our oil paining course, we have about two weeks to work on a single painting,” said Ramsha Jamil of Fatima Jinnah Women University, who won the first prize in her undergraduate of category.

Her painting depicted a snow-capped peak, a composition of black and white with a smooth textured, turquoise river flowing at the bottom. Her colour palate blended well but the canvas seemed to render an overambitious imitation of a landscape image found on the internet.

The exhibition on the whole, seemed more inclined on providing a platform to budding artists, than rating them on professional standards of oil painting. The outcome was experimental at best and underwhelming at worst.

Riffat Ara Baig, an artist and art teacher, who was among the panel of judges, said that she had scored the paintings on the criteria of drawing, application of medium and illustration of concept.

“You’ll see landscapes that are detailed and well-rounded but if the artist has not used their own creativity and imagination, then they lose points. On the other hand, you’ll find originality and a personal touch in the paintings of all of the winners,” she said.

National Disaster Management Authority Chairman Maj Gen Muhammad Saeed Aleem, who was the chief guest on the occasion, commended the participants for presenting their artworks. “It is encouraging to see that you are committed towards creating and displaying such artworks in a highly-technological age, where arts tend to take the backseat,” he said.

The participants and winners were awarded shields at the conclusion of the ceremony.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 14th, 2015.

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