Nature on canvas: Muscat-based artist impresses Islooites

Exhibition features stunning pieces of artwork in bright and attractive colours

Khan uses a palette of different colours ensuring that no single shade dominates her collection. PHOTOS: HUMA CHOUDHARY/EXPRESS


An art exhibition featuring paintings by Sara Riaz Khan opened at Nomad Art Gallery on Monday. The display titled ‘Earth in My Bones’ was inaugurated by British High Commissioner Philip Barton and featured 21 distinct art works, mainly oil and gesso on canvas.

Khan, a Muscat-based artist, is exhibiting in Islamabad for the first time. Earlier, the artist has displayed her pieces in Lahore and Karachi.

Internationally, her work has been showcased in group and solo exhibitions in Dubai and Muscat a number of times.

Khan studied Islamic art and archaeology in London and has been practicing art and teaching design for years.

“Painting is the part of me that dreams, and accessing it equilibrates my practical nature. This series reflects an internal topography. I have started scratching the surface of no-man’s land in time and space,” she said while speaking about her passion.

“I have a personal connection with nature, which has been consistent in my work. I have been concerned with people increasingly choosing to find differences instead of celebrating similarities. This body of work highlights the fact that we are all ultimately connected to the natural world and made of same elements and minerals,” she added.

The exhibition features stunning pieces of artwork in bright and attractive colours. Khan uses a palette of different colours in her work ensuring that no single shade dominates her collection. The texture created through oil on canvas is detailed and intricate yet stunning to say the least.

While discussing evolution of her work, the artist said, “Initially, I was drawn to images of stones, crystals and rock strata. However, as I worked, I found these visuals limiting and needed to source a more internalised and personal response. As I reconsidered my approach and stopped trying to impose imagery from the landscape, the paintings began to emerge from the canvas themselves.”

The gallery’s director Nageen Hyat said the exhibition is distinct in its own way. “It is an evocative, multi-layered, poetic and erudite collection of paintings emerging from deeply etched experiences and nature reflections of sub-conscious of the artist. Her work demands attention. It reflects an appropriation of ideas in movement through tonal values, powerful strokes and pure conceptual ideas,” she said.

The exhibition is open till October 10.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 29th, 2015.

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