A piece for every timeframe

Jewellery artist and sculptor Quratulain Qamar creates pieces using quaint clock parts

Saadia Qamar July 11, 2015
The collection comprises brass, silver and gold-plated clock mechanisms entwined into pendants, earrings, cufflinks, rings, buttons and brooches. PHOTOS: PUBLICITY

KARACHI: There is a definite thing about time — it never stops. To cherish every moment to its full potential, designers are tapping into a unique market of timeframes. ‘Kairos’ collection by Quratulain Qamar Choudry is one such anthology that was exhibited on Friday evening at the Koel Art Gallery.

While speaking to The Express Tribune about her most recent work that comprise brass, silver and gold plated clock mechanisms entwined into pendants, earrings, cufflinks, rings, buttons and brooches, she shared that ‘Kairos’ was inspired by her work as a sculptor. “I’ve been working with clocks and their mechanics since 2013 and ironically my work so far revolves around my own struggle to manage time,” says Choudry.

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Delving further into her personal struggles, Choudry says, “My lack of time management drove me towards this project.” ‘Kairos’ is an ancient Greek word meaning “at the right moment”. She adds that her jewellery collection exhibits a cluster of different emotions. “It expresses the right sentiments for me. It sheds the right feeling. I’m in constant fear of losing time. I worry that waqt haath se nikal raha hai!”

As to why she’s so fascinated with time, the designer claims, “For the past two years I’ve been working with clocks and watches, even having a huge installation of my thesis that revolved around the concept of time at the Indus Valley School.”

As to where does she collect ancient clock and watch pieces from, she divulges her secret, “I have ventured into old connected areas of Saddar, into old alleys of Lalukheth. There is a new Karachi bazaar I have gone to too and before they shut down the old Sunday Bazaar at Defence, I collected time pieces from there.”

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These are original clock watch mechanisms and are considered to be an antique collection. She has about 150 pieces with her. This being her maiden exhibition, the delicate intricate pieces are all focused on the concept of time and do not feature an actual working clock. She asserts nostalgically about time, saying, “I think time moves really fast. Even before you’ve experienced the actual moment, it’s all over. One needs to enjoy each and every moment and experience it completely. You can’t stop the moment from surpassing itself.”

Choudry is glad she’s been appreciated by her teachers and mentors from the world of art which include the likes of Noor Jehan Bilgrami, Amin Gulgee, Nooria Shaikh Sadiq and Sara Farooqui.. As for future plans, Choudry also plans to exhibit her work in Dubai and Europe after showcasing it in Islamabad and Lahore.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 12th, 2015.

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