Chaotic journeys towards society
KARACHI: VM Art Gallery is hosting an exhibition by two talented women, Shazia Qureshi and Tahira Noreen, based on two different themes ‘Organised Chaos’ and ‘Journeys’ respectively.
The work by Shazia, who is a prominent figure in the domestic art scene, revolves around the current socio – political conciliation while Tahira’s work is experimental and can be termed fresh for her innovative technique and new medium.
Art pieces, ‘Unknown Path I-VIII’ by Shazia Qureshi, made with acrylic and bitumen on board is a series, depicting the current scenario in our country, particularly the metropolis in terms of deteriorating law and order situation.
The artist has made dark and sombre paintings, often overshadowed by silhouettes depicting anti-State elements hovering around, covering other figures (humans). Shazia has used rich, dark, mostly warm colours in her paintings such as yellow, black and red.
As per her statement, “Our social, economical, political and cultural conditions affect our thought process, therefore absolute freedom is not possible. The socio-economic pressure, law and order and political situation is the cause for major mental stress among people and has created uncertainty among us.”
Mentioning the helplessness that prevails among common people, Shazia comments that the whole structure seems to be collapsing. “These elements have taken us in their grip and we are struggling to find our way out, but people are desperate for any path leading to stability. In such a situation panic emanates and chaos reigns. There are invisible forces that are creating this chaos, hence it seems to be pre-planned and organised,” she declares.
In another series of paintings, titled ‘Saturation I-III’ made with ink on paper, Shazia expresses how fear has enveloped the nation. The series depicts figures covered with black lines, while red is spread or almost spilt on the sides of the paintings.
As Shazia portrays the instability, fear and chaos, Tahira, who has done bachelors in Fine Arts from National College of Arts (NCA), Lahore has presented an array of experimental work made with colourful tape.
She uses China made colourful scotch tape as a medium of expression in her art pieces. At first sight, the art pieces, look like they are watercolours depicting different views; cars, ships, bridges and scenery. Her works ‘Dandelion’, “Iteration I-II’ are on the medium of cutter on tracing sheet.
Tahira in her statement said that her work involves conceptual depiction of movement focusing on rapid changes of images, thoughts, sights and sounds that inform our senses during travel, and culminate in memories.
Her statement touches on the metaphysical to some extent with ideas like: “Travel can be both an inward as well as an outward experience. It can be a travel back into time; or a reverie; or a visit to outer space.”
Tahira’s experimental work can perhaps be best described in her own words as a journey into an uncharted territory that might lead to a distant horizon or an unknown destination. She states, “Journeys, both internal and external, translate into my work as a series of jottings, parallel lines, spirals paraphrasing the diverse sea of observations and experiences into personal palimpsests of hope and despair.”
Perhaps what VM Director Rifat Alvi said about Tahira’s work is more apt, “only time will tell how much success this medium (China made scotch tapes) will get.”
Talking to Daily Times Rifat said that both artists did an admirable job. “Shazia is doing her second exhibition at VM, first one was ten years ago, unfortunately on the same them ‘Chaos’, but no doubt her work is commendable and she received huge appreciation.”