Evoking emotions: Artist’s work questions society’s apathy
KARACHI: The magnitude of losses suffered by victims of a blast or a natural disaster is often lost on those who only hear about it in the news. Artist Sara Mahmood has used everyday items in her work, such as teddy bears and trash cans, to convey the impact of such tragedies which shatter so many lives – and to make sure people don’t forget them.
An alumnus of the Indus Valley School of Arts and Architecture and now a faculty member at the institution, Mahmood has tried to portray emotions of despair and vulnerability through mixed mediums. Her previous works usually revolved around insulations, but now she has branched out into conceptual works involving ceramics.
Mahmood’s work is part of the exhibition running at the Indus Valley School Gallery, which also features ceramic art by Hamir Soomro.
“My current series aims to make the audience feel the void a person’s death leaves behind,” explained Mahmood. Perhaps one of the most thought-provoking piece by Mahmood was ‘In the name of God,’ which leaves one marvelling at the ingenuity of the artist’s creation. “The piece tries to portray the irony that people invoke Allah’s protection by reciting the Ayat-ul-Kursi, while others kill the very same people in His name,” she told The Express Tribune. Her other piece, ‘I tried to run fast’, portrays the “layman’s story of trying to accomplish life’s goals quickly without realising that we are all bound to be caught up in our lives.”
Mahmood’s other two pieces, also deeply immersed in ironic cynicism at our “society’s general apathy towards the loss of life”, are sure to tickle the observer’s thought process.
A world of ceramics
Soomro, an architect by profession and a senior faculty member at IVS, said that he came across ceramics as a medium of art by chance. Speaking to The Express Tribune, the artist explained that he was passing by a studio where a ceramics workshop caught his eye. He then started attending the workshop where he was tutored by his fellow artist Mahmood, who he said “was the main source of inspiration.”
According to Soomro, a piece in his first exhibition of ceramic works in 2012 was sold within minutes of the opening and fetched the highest selling price ever for a ceramic piece in Pakistan. This, he declares, was his motivation to seriously pursue the use of ceramics in art form. Since then, it has taken him two years to come up with a comprehensive collection of works using wood fired and glazed white clay as a medium.
The exhibition is set to run till April 19.
Source: The Express Tribune