Embarking on a ‘Visual Voyage’
By: Ahtesham Azhar
KARACHI: The exhibition ‘Embarking on a Visual Voyage’ by Chitra Pritam, featuring paintings colourful paintings of boats travelling anchoring near coast of the sea, at Artscene Gallery will conclude here on Saturday (today).
Above 20 such paintings were on display, grabbed attention of number of art lovers, artists and others.
The artist creates a celebratory series of ships on the sea with diverse textures, and a surface of joyfully coloured, broadly spaced pointillism. In recent times the sea has been disturbed and created havoc in many parts of the world, but in the artist’s paintings, one discovers idealised seascapes that are a visual delight. Here the painter portrays boats gathered before setting sail – or at the end of an expedition. The sea is streaked with the gold of the sky reflected in the water, or with calm brushstrokes of blue. Close-by buildings – shining ochre and pink shades, add to the glowing effects of the canvas.
One of his paintings on the medium of oil on canvas was depicting, two boats operating by fishermen. The shed and colours, which artist gave on the sky depicted it as the time of going back homes for fishermen. Pritam while using his artistic skills captured routine lives of fishermen.
Another painting of Pritam was about anchoring of a boat at coastline. The ship is tightly roped with anchor fixed on surface. Artist used dark and light colours in the painting. Similarly, another was about the large number of boats standing at coast, the scene which people witness in their routine lives.
Chitra Pritam initially made his positive impression on art enthusiasts when he burst upon the scene in 1995. His paintings consisted of three dimensional landscapes that appeared to invite viewers to enter the canvas and enjoy the shade of branches of old, leafy trees. The theme of the work was the landscape of countryside around his ancestral home in Sanjanpur, Rahimiyar Khan, and the robust interpretations evoked an enthusiastic response.
The artist is steadfast in his regard and homage to his mentor Jamil Naqsh, to whom he credits with his success. It was Naqsh who on viewing Chitra’s early efforts, recognised his potential and arranged a studio for him in his own house where he critiqued his work and gave him books on art to read. In his latest work Chitra transports his audience to wharfs where boats are gathered, and active figures suggest the crew’s energy and enthusiasm. The artist’s handling of his media is faultless. The subject enclosed in a wondrous backdrop of colouration.