The language that they speak
KARACHI: Three women artists, one must-see exhibition. Yes, the show titled Her very own language that began at the Art Chowk gallery on Thursday takes you by a pleasant surprise not because the artists have chosen interesting subjects to paint, but because there’s a startling free spirit with which they have created their artworks. How does one judge that? Very simple: when ideas and the method to propagate them effortlessly merge, turning form into content and content into form.
The first exhibit on display ‘Inni mini miny mo’ (oil on canvas) by Kiran Shah takes you on a journey which has both intensity and pace. Pace needs to be explained here: there’s a distinct sense of urgency to almost all the pieces on view, the kind or urgency that creativity demands of a passionate artist. Mind you, this doesn’t let the works in the exhibition appear to be done in a slapdash fashion. Kiran’s canvas is broad, literally and figuratively. A few of her untitled works grab your attention due to her simple technique that somehow highlights her subject matter effortlessly. For example, the bloated face of a character perched on flowers is a stark reminder of the dichotomies of life that haunt people for a long, long time.
In terms of expression Shahana Munawar’s works dazzle like nobody’s business. Her tribute to individuals of renown, such as ‘Beyond the beauty from Frida’ (acrylic on canvas) and the ‘Ay dil-i-nadaan’ series (acrylic on fiberglass) speak volumes for the artist’s ability to make colours follow the visual vocabulary that she is utterly fond of. They are bright, beautiful and yet never fail to convey their innate pensiveness.
Zainab Mawaz adds an interesting little, dark twist to the whole exercise. ‘Die, damn you, die’ (acrylic ink and coloured pencils) is an exhibit that grapples with the issue of demons on personal and collective levels. However, it is her diptych ‘Essence of Camphor’ (oil on canvas) that needs special mention. It can be claimed that she is an artist who relies more on intuition than conviction. The artwork reminds you of one of celebrated Urdu fiction writer Naiyar Masud’s stories that has the same title.