When colours speak -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

When colours speak

KARACHI: An understatement: artists are compulsive workers. Their hard work needs to be understood. It does not stem from an obligatory, duty-bound sentiment.

The kind of work that artists do requires diligence not just on the creative level but also in terms of labour and extensive time put in to get the desired result.

Abrar Ahmed is one artist who never shies away from working hard, which is why an exhibition of his latest body of work, which commenced here at the Ocean Art Galleries on Saturday, suggests he has literally as well as figuratively come of age.

The more than dozen oil-on-canvas artworks on display present a riot of colour with traditional motifs and symbols. Perhaps there is less symbolism, but whatever there is cannot be categorised as abstruse.

The viewer knows the subject well and can construe it without much hassle. This does not mean that there is one-dimensionality to the artworks. Mr Ahmed has not experimented with colours and yet it is through bold and basic colours that he makes his subject speak.

There was a time when the artist made long necks of petite women and was known for them. Now his female protagonist has a different ‘feel’ to her. Though the birds, the trees and the musical instrument give off a familiar vibe, the magic lies in their treatment.

In one distinctive piece, he has employed the yellow colour as the base of the painting and then placed a couple of faces, a few birds, a tree and a bowl in the foreground as if they are not part of the original scene. A closer examination will reveal a dream-like quality to the picture. It shouldn’t be interpreted as surrealistic, for it is far from it.

The dream-like situation has arisen from concrete reality and not some airy-fairy thought. Good stuff! The exhibition will continue till Oct 15