Art student takes inspiration from temple’s artwork
RAWALPINDI: A Bachelors of Computer Arts student presented her final thesis at the Fatima Jinnah Women University (FJWU), Rawalpindi.
Versha Arora’s work is inspired by the historic Kalyan Das Temple.
The concept behind her study is to design the interior of a living room by taking inspiration from art and architecture of the temple.
With the help of the artwork in the temple, she made new designs which are used for designing products of the room.
Versha Arora is one of the 13 students who displayed their thesis work at the computer arts department.
While other students chose their thesis topics related to postmodernism and urban culture, she decided to work on something related to herself, her religion.
“This is basically not only a study of history, artwork and architecture of the temple, it is also to make an attempt to create awareness among people to preserve the temple which is a cultural heritage of Pakistan,” said Versha Arora.
“I want to design the interior of the living room keeping in mind the culture of the subcontinent and the colour scheme of the temple,” she added.
The Kalyan Das Temple, now known as the Government Qandeel Institute for Blind, is situated in Kohati Bazaar.
The temple was named after a generous resident of Rawalpindi — Kalyan Das — who laid its foundation in 1850 and completed it in 1880.
It is one of the most beautiful temples of Rawalpindi city with magnificent architectural work inside it.
But the temple is in a bad condition due to negligence. The temple is very rich in its artwork. In 1958, it was converted into a school for the visually-impaired students.
Her designs of the interior and the textile products are inspired from both religious and secular designs and mural paintings present in the temple.
“It’s important to highlight and document its cultural and religious importance, paintings, floral patterns and architecture in detail and then to use it for making new designs and patterns in such a way that the element of respect should be visible. It should not harm anyone’s religious sentiments,” Arora said.
The thesis work presents tradition and culture of the subcontinent such as low-seating arrangement, cushions, round pillows etc. These products are created by using different mediums and textile techniques.
Versha Arora felt disappointed with the current state of the temple and urged that it should be preserved.
“It is important to document it before it turns to ruin because it is the cultural heritage of our country. I made an attempt to make people aware of its present condition and make them realise that it needs to be protected.
“I am making this attempt because as a Hindu and as a Pakistani, I consider it my responsibility to play my role in conserving architecture that is of religious importance in Hinduism and a cultural heritage of Pakistan,” she added.
The supervisor of Versha Arora’s thesis, Taseer Hussain, lecturer interior design, says it is an overwhelming feeling to see such a work by the new generation. “Students should be encouraged to work on heritage and culture.”
He also feels that in Pakistan much work has been done regarding heritage and culture.
“The major problem we faced in this project was lack of scholarly research work. Pakistan’s heritage should be documented for the next generations,” he added.
Kavita Arora, the mother of Versha Arora, appreciated her daughter’s work. “She really did an amazing work, I am proud of her,” she said.