Just Ordinary Tales opens at VM Art
KARACHI: One of the prerequisites for becoming an artist is to have sharp observation skills. The adjective ‘sharp’ implies intelligence as well as the ability to empathize with the subject. The levels of empathy can vary and sometimes designate an artist’s position in his/her field. A group show of master’s programme of the National College of Arts titled ‘Just Ordinary Tales’ opened at the VM Art Gallery on Saturday. The artworks on display in the exhibition speak volumes for our modern-day artists’ tremendous gift of observing the many facets of ‘life’ around them and portraying it as they see it.
Saadia Hussain’s pencil work works on two levels. One, it draws the viewer towards itself because of its size. The protagonist’s predicament with a tortured look gets enhanced by the bigness of the artwork. Two, the pencil work is free-flowing, almost giving the impression as if Hussain has made the sketches in one go. Nice stuff.
Shajia Azam’s exhibits are a delight to watch. They have a certain artistic flair to them which borders on a heartwarming carefree attitude that’s a hallmark of a true artist. One of the artist’s ink-on-paper works called ‘Lights, Camera, and Action’ shows an unhinged figure has this written in English: ‘it was not a case of stage fright/she just didn’t have any lines’. The artist uses the same medium to touch on a totally different topic. It’s titled Wasteland. There is no need to talk about Wasteland. It is self-explanatory. If it is not a famous work of art yet, rest assured it will be talked about for a long time.
Perhaps aesthetically more appealing is the series painted by Maria Khan. Her oil-on-canvas pieces depicting aunties and avuncular characters are a sight to behold. Surely, these are people that the artist either knows or may have come across somewhere. They are different in appearance but give off the same social vibe. Sugar Daddy is a remarkable example of imagination and technical prowess. The viewer looks at that character and feels as if s/he knows him, has met him. And the colours that accompany are cherry on top. No different is Jolly Aunty.
Sarah Ahmed successfully imparts a universal feel to her personal predicament. According to her, her work is a plea to deconstruct the conventional concept of beauty in our society.
Amra Khan tackles the issue of bipolarity in a person. Her artworks are marked by a riot of colour and a bunch of figures that are readily identifiable but seldom discussed.