Artisans mesmerise visitors at Lok Virsa spring festival
ISLAMABAD: Pieces of art depicting rural folk life, traditions and heritage of various regions of the country mesmerised the visitors at the Lok Virsa spring festival.
The artisans-at-work exhibition remained the main attraction for the visitors, while the festival also featured other activities, including a kite exhibition, kite flying, food stalls and song and dance performances.
Over 50 artisans, masters of various crafts, including needle work, wax printing, wood works, khaddar weaving, embroidery, pattu weaving, truck art, shawl weaving, jewellery making, namda/gabba, stone carving and papier mache, demonstrated their skills at the festival.
The artisans have been provided with specially designed pavilions to display their works where they also had the opportunity to sell their products to visitors without the involvement of a middleman.
Various creations, including Sadaf Nisar’s needle work, Zahid Riaz’s wax printing, Mukhtar Dar’s namda/gabba, wood work by Sajjad and Ghulam Nabi, Hafiz Nasir’s zarri work, Khaddar weaving by Muhammad Sarfraz and Mohsin, Jahman Das’s Sindhi embroidery, weaving by Farhad Ali and Abbas, traditional dolls made by Fozia, Rehmat Karim’s wooden spoon work, Deedar Ali’s pattu weaving, Khalilur Rehman’s truck art, Nabeela’s jewellery, Rabia’s wall hangings and Ilyas’s stone carving, were displayed at the festival.
The most prominent among the artisans was Khalilur Rehman who recognised for and is specialised in traditional truck art.
Acknowledging the services of the craftsmen, Lok Virsa Executive Director Khalid Javaid said, “Craftsmen are our greatest treasure. They are custodians of our rich cultural heritage. They display art inherited from their forefathers.”
“Lok Virsa is trying to provide avenues to them so that they can continue their traditions. We are not only promoting traditional skills and the people involved at the national level but we have also taken concrete steps to project their crafts at the international level. Recently, a group of artisans is touring Oman to participate in a craft festival there,” he also said.
The Lok Virsa executive director added, “Pakistan with its rich and varied heritage has a craft tradition of more than 9,000 years, dating back to the Mehergarh civilisation in Balochistan, which reveals the earliest evidence of pottery production.”
He also said, “The dominant historical influence is still seen in form, design and colour of Pakistani handicrafts and is a fusion of Islamic, Turkish, Arab, Persian and the indigenous Mughal traditions.”
Khalid Javaid claimed, “Pakistan is noted for some of the most varied and beautiful handicrafts in the world. Dress of a bride or a simple household utensil, it is designed and created so artistically that it becomes a piece of art. Different regions, towns and cities of the country specialise in their own particular handicrafts.”
The spring festival would conclude on Tuesday (February 26) at the Lok Virsa Complex. Entry for public to the festival is free.