PESHAWAR: The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Directorate of Culture organised a three-day exhibition, ‘Peshawar the walled city’ at Nishtar Hall on Thursday. A total of 40 paintings by Dr Ghulam Shabbier were on display at the exhibition which will continue till November 22.
Shabbier, who is well known for his cityscape with water colours, is a professor at Khyber Medical College. His admiration for city culture provided him with the inspiration to throw colours on a canvas and preserve historical buildings for future generations.
Speaking to The Express Tribune, Shabbier said, “I was born in the walled city and saw it transform over the last few decades. My love affair with cultural architecture began in childhood.”
He said even though people obsess over ruins of these buildings which are in a dilapidated condition, it is about time someone did something to preserve this cultural heritage.
Shabbier added all great architecture belong to the people of the city and it was their responsibility to save them from deterioration.
Shabbier’s artwork highlights the political, social, economic and cultural issues that have completely transformed the city. Through his paintings he explains the process through which prevalence of a volatile situation destroyed the city’s delicate architecture and way of life. Oil paintings depicting replacement of old tonga culture with rickshaws, city’s traditional and story-telling bazaars in minute detail captured the attention of many visitors.
Muhammad Imran, a visitor at the exhibition, said, “Shabbier deserves a standing ovation – I have never seen culture being represented so powerfully yet elegantly.”
He said the artist had meticulously painted a significant topic with a plethora of colours. “He definitely has a great eye for detail and profundity,” Imran added. Dr Amjad Hussain, who has written several books on the history of the city, was the chief guest on the occasion. Addressing the gathering, he said, “Peshawar may be a small city but its people have done great work in the realm of art and literature.” He appreciated Shabbier’s efforts and work and predicted his future fame.
The artist paints the city’s transformation to conserve heritage. PHOTO: HIDAYAT KHAN/EXPRESS
Former adviser to chief minister on culture, tourism and youth affairs Amjad Afridi highlighted the efforts of the provincial government for the promotion of art and culture in the city. “This exhibition is one such effort needed to conserve our heritage,” he added.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 20th, 2015.