Deciphering shadows: Koel’s new exhibit fills spaces without words with colours

Uzma Sultan and Qadir Jhatial display art works at Koel Gallery.

Our Correspondent May 03, 2015

KARACHI: If there is one way to describe the latest exhibit at Koel Gallery, it would be in the words of American artist Georgia O' Keeffe, who once said, "I found I could say something with colours and shapes that I couldn't say any other way — things I had no words for."

The works of artists Uzma Sultan and Qadir Jhatial are on display at Koel Gallery since Thursday and the exhibition will continue till May 11.

Working with enamel on canvas, Jhatial portrayed shadowy images with colours from his surroundings. "If you see this piece from a distance, there is a man sitting beside a dhaba [shack] and having evening tea," he said as he explained the work in which his friend is the subject.

‘Regal Chowk’ by Qadir Jhatial, ‘Evening Tea’ by Qadir Jhatial. PHOTOS: COURTESY KOEL ART GALLERY

Hailing from Lahore, the young artist portrayed the simple life of his city from Regal Chowk to Jain Mandir, from cityscape to roadside shops. "Nobody sees shadows this way, I tried to show something from an imaginary world," he said, explaining why he portrayed shadows in colours.

"I just walk around the streets of Lahore and observe how life is," he said. Jhatial recalled roaming around Anarkali Bazaar, Jain Mandir and Mall Road. Giving tribute to the 150 children of Peshawar massacre, Jhatial dedicated one of his nine pieces to the Army Public School attack. "The red colour in this painting shows blood all over the city," he said.

Sultan also played with colours and different spaces in her works. "I collect things and pictures of spaces from different life and style magazines," Sultan said, talking about her inspiration.

Sultan depicts household items, interior decoration, food and packing products through her work. "Interior decoration represents who we are," she said, explaining why she chose living rooms, drawing rooms and household items as her subject.

"I made this piece back in 2012," she said as she pointed at her work 'Ajrak in Victorian Room'. "This is a scene from a Victorian room and this 'Ajrak' in the corner of the room gives it a touch of Sindhi culture." Working with oil on canvas, aluminum, board and linen, Sultan's work focuses on the simple life in rooms.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 4th, 2015.



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