LAHORE: “The transformations that a woman’s body undergoes are rarely discussed in public,” artist Hamida Khatri said on Wednesday.
She was speaking at a three-person show featuring her work at Taseer Art Gallery. The exhibition has been titled Space and Objects. Khatri said her work was primarily premised on women. She said it focused on the oppression of women in addition to touching on their emancipation.
Khatri said her work was also a commentary on patriarchal societies and the challenges that confront women in their lives. “I talk about the internal transformations that take place within a woman’s body. This is rarely spoken about in public,” she said. Khatri said her work depicted the inner side of a woman’s body. “There are many emotions that become an inherent part of a woman’s body that are not expressed. I speak about them,” she said.
Khatri, who graduated from the Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture in 2012, said her work had grown more subtle over time. She said earlier it had been quite monochromatic.
Khatri said she found working on her pieces extremely therapeutic. “It provides me with an outlet to express my feelings,” she said.
SM Raza, another artist, said his work on display had been divided in equal parts. He said each component had the same theme – distortion. Raza said two of his graphite pencil sketch works were portraits of Francis Bacon and Gerhard Richter. He said he had applied the techniques used by the two artistes over the course of their careers to his portraits of them. “It is my way of paying a tribute to them,” Raza said.
He said he had worked around the implementation of graphics while creating the ink drawings on display as he also worked as a graphic designer and freelance illustrator. Raza said the drawings illustrated a distorted or corrupted computer file. He said the drawings came across as being created with the assistance of computer software while they were sketches in actuality. “I have tried to combine both of my practices,” Raza said.
Wasif Aridi, another artist, said his work was premised on perception. He said it explored people’s tendency to judge other after a fleeting meeting. Afridi said he had not painted any of his pieces on display. “I used a soldering iron to burn into wood to create them,” he said. Afridi said
Taseer Art Gallery Curator Zaineb Siddiqui said the title of the exhibition suggested a link between tangible things and the backgrounds they had been placed in. The featured artists tend to stretch their subjects away from their place of origin. Siddiqui said this brought an interesting and chaotic layer to the subject matter. Raza’s work brings to mind the effect of time on our association with things, she said. Siddiqui said Khatri and Afridi’s portraits offered insights into the brokenness of their forms and characters on the other hand.
The show will conclude on March 10.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 5th, 2015.