Fomma-DHA Art Centre ready for activities after repairs
KARACHI: The premises of the Fomma-DHA Art Centre (FDAC) in Zamzama Park (DHA-5), which has been under repairs by DHA for sometime, is now available for various art activities and projects. The entire mezzanine wooden floor has been replaced with a strongly re-set concrete one, the winding staircases have been suitably strengthened, and work is under way to install an improved lighting system.
The historic 19th century Raj structure (originally an army barrack), which houses the FDAC, would still need additional restoration work such as damp-proofing of the walls, replacement of damaged tiles on the roof, tackling the endemic problems of rising damp and seepage etc. But meanwhile the Fomma Trust is going ahead with plans to re-activate the FDAC.
Last week the Fomma Trust began a month-long course on Graphic Design at the FDAC, organised jointly with a group of ex-students of the Indus Valley School of Art & Architecture.
And on Thursday evening (14 June), at an informal get-together, the Fomma Trust invited eminent members of the art community at the FDAC premises itself to discuss and advise on “the question of questions”: What should the re-launched FDAC aspire to do or be?
Foremost among the ideas mooted was to develop the premises and its beautifully landscaped environs, lush with well-kept lawns and flower beds, as a meeting place for the artists to interact with their colleagues as well as members of the public. It is visualised as a non-profit but self-sustaining FOMMA ART IN THE PARK CLUB.
Membership of the proposed Art Club would be extended to the practising artists as well as to the growing number of art lovers, collectors and connoisseurs, including some of the leading art savvy corporate executives.
There would also be a FOMMA ART GALLERY within the FDAC premises, which stands astride a popular jogging track in the city’s premier Zamzama Park and attracts almost every morning and evening a virtually captive audience/viewership of hundreds of men, women and children of all ages.
Indeed the gracefully ageing structure in weather-daunting yellow Sindhi sandstone provides lavish prime quality display spaces for art works. Apart from1800 sq feet ground level space there are two large walls, each 10 feet high and 60 (uninterrupted) feet long. The proposed art gallery at the FDAC would aim at displaying specially curated art exhibitions – though not necessarily offering these for sale.
The Fomma Trust would also be looking at other possibilities at the FDAC. These include putting together a Library of Art Books and Periodicals, which may lead to establishing an Institute of Art History; a co-operatively run Art Bookshop/Art Book Club; and from time to time selectively acquiring works of art as the nucleus of a Museum of contemporary Art. Of course the priorities in each case would depend upon the financial resources that could be generated – or may become available through donations and contributions – as the work of the FDAC itself progresses.