Hidden Agenda opens at Koel -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Hidden Agenda opens at Koel

KARACHI: There are two kinds of quality artists that use symbols to propagate their ideas. One, who try and be secretive about their art and its content to keep art lovers and critics engaged in their work. Two, those who do not care a hoot about interpretation; they paint the chaos in society and within them employing techniques and styles that suit their purpose.

It is difficult to bracket Ayesha Siddiqui in either of the two categories, but rest assured she is a quality artist.

An exhibition of Ayesha Siddiqui’s latest work titled ‘Hidden Agenda’ opened at the Koel Gallery on Saturday. The title of the show is a bit of a giveaway. It says a lot, if not all, about how the artist wants the viewer to see her effort. There’s a considerable use of symbolism not just in geometric form but of colours. Though the explosion of the shades of black, in terms of size, overwhelms the geometric signs, both are equally important.

In her untitled mixed-media-on-canvas work the artist plays with circles and squares (the latter more of asymmetrical rectangles) under or within the effusion of blackness, occasionally accompanied by yellow and white strokes. The square represents order. It can be order in the universe or in society. In Oriental tradition, the square and circle combination denotes the connection between the human and the superhuman.

So in a way Ayesha Siddiqui is trying to bring together the personal and the impersonal by keeping them close to each other and yet distinctly different and identifiable.

Perhaps more important is the big, booming presence of the colour black. This blackness, sometimes intersected by the presence of other colours, delineates the innate obscurity of things, something which is perplexing but can also propel people in general and artists in particular to explore life and move on.

The exhibition will continue till Aug 31.—Peerzada Salman