Compelling and innovative compositions -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Compelling and innovative compositions

By: Nadeem Zuberi

While going through the paintings I feel the time, energy and ideas that Shazly Khan has invested in her unique paintings is worth it. She handles very beautifully the sensitive and delicate issues in a different manner that touches others. Her figurative work creates an engaging impact in an innovative style.

When I saw the paintings of Shazly Khan on facebook I was surprised to see so different and mature work. I visited her studio and view her paintings that will be part of her exhibition next week in Dubai.

Having viewed her work I am not surprised that she is going beyond borders as her skilful and creative sensibilities are extraordinary. Her paintings laced with original ideas and highly technical expertise fascinates. It was an awesome visual experience for me.

Driven by an irresistible inner force she portrays images that are created with the techniques of realism. She presents detailed pictures in strong lines and vivid hues which brings movement in the images. Her magnificent brush strokes narrate tales like a philosopher.

Basically she paints personal experiences and is sensitised by the surrounding. Her paintings are compulsive and leave a mark; each painting is a statement in its own way. She represents her private mode of expression and has her own personal stance. During her creative journey she invents certain style of her own which holds significance.

While explaining her work to me she said, “I intend to focus on human forms and their relationships, by manipulating everyday occurrences, subconscious desires and sensitive issues related to life and focusing on their particular design elements”.

Her paintings capture people and their lives in an artistic manner. She keenly observes the life of people living around, her main focus is on women and children their relationship as a family and with the surrounding.

“The images will also be an extension and free expression of my personal artistic style as they will be formed and manipulated into ways I find aesthetically pleasing. My paintings express my deep love of life and family and my wish to protect them and create an inner sense of peace and happiness”, she said

By using her strong figurative work and visual vocabulary of bright colours she pursues her dreams and desires. In her colourful serene dream world there is love, beauty and warmth of relationships, which is necessary for a happy and content life in the real world. Her wishes dreams and desires take symbolic expressions in the form of motifs that recurrent in her paintings thus her dreams come to life on the canvas, full of sensitivity and movement.

The symbols used by artists have various meanings for different artists. She presents various elements of life symbolically in her paintings – plant is a symbol for fertility, fishes for beautiful yet chaotic life, buildings represent the fast track urban life, pigeons or birds shows the love to attain and create an inner sense of peace and for universal humanity and on the other hand craving for freedom, the chair for making a noticeable place for oneself in our society and a cup of tea which she painted in a painting titled “My Cup of Tea” symbolises a friend.

“My cup of tea is my best friend, gives me company in my best and worst times, therefore addicted to it”, explains Shazly. Like creative thinkers she dignifies life as a whole. Her work defines an understanding between relationships. She is proud to be human and her origin and culture. She wants to live in harmony with the Nature. She is allured by the human existence.

Her contemporary work had glimpses of masters. Born in Jeddah she visited many countries with her father who was a town planner. Since childhood she observes masters work like Leonardo Da vinci, Vincent Van Gosh and Pablo Picasso as her father was fond of paintings and he took her to various museums of the world. She studied abroad in various schools where art is a compulsory subject and thus she develops an interest in art.

After returning to Pakistan she was introduced to the art circle by late Ali Imam who showcased her first solo exhibition in Karachi at Indus gallery in 2001, which gives her more confidence. After wards she becomes busy with her house and kids but she did not stop painting and drawing in leisure time at home and therefore after a gap she is having a solo exhibition.

In terms of creativity her work is remarkable. The paintings encourage dialogue by building symbolic bridges and thus enable the creation of an exciting interactive artwork. She has compiled together her inspiration, new ideas and vision of the future in her paintings. She has defined her own spaces and constructs her imagined world. She covers spaces in lighter tones giving a pleasant serene look to her paintings. The titles of the paintings also show her deep involvement with the subjects – “Expecting”, “Let me Fly”, “Let me Out”, “My Sun”, “Hope”, “Fatal Attraction”, “Dreamers”, My Peace”, “Dulhan”, “In Love”, “Let me Sleep”, “Soul”, Blossom”, “Spring in the Air”, “Waiting for Him”.

Her paintings show her flawless drawing skills and expertise in rendering human body. The figures have been drawn with a single flow of brush, which shows her artistic ability and command. She uses the language of bright colours along with brilliant drawing to convey her ideas.

Along with the symbolic elements in Shazly’s work there is a strong viewpoint. Her female figures with distorted limbs having elongated hands and legs dominate with fluent brushstrokes are her signature style. She is deeply involved in her subject and has used skilfully drawing, colours, light and shade. Observing her work it seems she has done such a mature work before time considering her age and experience. One follows individual experiences while going through her artworks.

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