A nostalgic look at childhood -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

A nostalgic look at childhood

By: Ammar Shahbazi

Karachi: If an artist deftly manages to capture the life of inanimate objects with her brush, the objects come alive – literally.

And when they glow on the canvas with all their subtleties, from the overlooked natural curves of the pieces to the impressions of light and shades working their magic on them, the artworks seize to be simple stand-alone pieces; they portray something deeper – something more profound.

Each piece speaks of the artist. Each one cries out of the mood eternally ossified and framed: the hours she might have spent on extracting a long-forgotten thread from an unknown cranny of her memory and worked tirelessly to put a glimpse of it on the paper. A morsel of thought cleverly flinched from the flash of the past.

It took Sana Obaid, a NCA graduate, seven months to complete the Gouache-on-Wasli pieces on display at an exhibition at the Chawkandi Art Gallery, which opened on Tuesday.

The two dozen odd ‘still life’ pieces presented are thematically varied. The objects that piqued Sana are very much everyday in nature. But one grand idea that must have tied them all together was the unmistakable sense of place.

The pieces share the recurring image of the same house – the mood is stationed in space.

The angles chosen for the objects are random – which arrest the mood of the peripheral space, and make it a quintessential part of the objects covered. For instance, in one of the works, named ‘Love Letter’, a cringed piece of paper is shown lying forlorn at a corner on the floor.

The intricate fold of the paper, crumbled with powerful squeezes of the hand, depicts the rage – or hopelessness – but essentially a human emotion that comes out obviously from the 11.5 X 6.5 inches piece.

Apart from the sense of place, the allusion of images images from childhood is also very much present. The ‘props’ Sana preferred to work on are the innocent objects that fascinate one in childhood.

The worries of sharpening a wooden pencil, the pages of fairy tale books, which we all dwell upon as children, and most distinctly it’s the floor with all its fine imprints and litters that infants spend hours musing over. From cigarette butts to used cotton buds to burned matchsticks – Sana’s subjects make plain her nostalgia of childhood. The exhibition will continue till October 3.

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