ISLAMABAD: Artist Ahmer Farooq’s first solo painting exhibition in the federal capital portrays the “complexity of a woman on canvas”.
Speaking about the exhibition “Eve in all her hues” that began at My Art World Gallery on Friday, the artist said the showcase was about prominent and outstanding Pakistani women. “The tension between their adopted social roles and the complex person underneath is the theme behind this exhibition,” Farooq explains.
The abstraction and symbolism of each painting depicts the complexity that lies within each woman and how their perceptions change through different cultural, social and media narratives.
Farooq has used mixed media in his work with a bold backdrop to portray prominent women personalities such as Malala Yousafzai, Asma Jahangir, Mukhtara Mai, Begum Nawazish and Resham. He has depicted aesthetic appeal as well as highlighted the causes for which these women stand.
The artist uses syllables in Urdu that are obscurely connected to give an ancient stained-glass window feel. The paintings evoke mystery and carry a sense of magnetism, which draw visitors to visualise a representation of women in front of them.
Each painting is multi-layered with meaning. Beaming from each space of the paintings are unique shades of colour, newspaper cutouts, sparkle, pictures and different kinds of paper.
“Malala symbolises struggle for women’s education, so you can observe textbook cutouts within each space of the syllables,” said Farooq.
Looking deep into each painting, one notices obscure figures of women, all in different shades. Apart from the iconic Pakistani women, one of the artist’s paintings is based on his sister-in-law.
“As I look into these paintings, I discover new things about them, like a body, which I gather is of a woman,” said Anjum Alix Noon, an artist. “The abstraction activates my mind in a way that enables me to spin different stories,” she added.
My Art World Curator Zara Sajid commented that she selected Farooq for the solo exhibition because she found his work very subtle yet equally bold.
She said that every fresh look at one of Farooq’s artworks compels you to think of a new angle to the paintings.
The exhibition will continue till May 22.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 17th, 2015.