Of time, essence ‘n’ conflict ‘Within and Without’
By Ahtesham Azhar
KARACHI: Full Circle Gallery exhibits ‘Within and Without’ by four emerging artists Annem Zaidi, Dua Abbas, Scheherezade Junejo and Suleman Khilji.
Guddo Haider curates the show, where at least 26 different art works, on varying themes are on display for the delight of art enthusiasts and critics alike.
The work of Suleman Khilji lurked in nebulous territories. Ameen Zaidi’s work echoes similar thoughts of light and dark. Scheherezade Junejo painted bold characters while Dua Abbas elevates her characters to the level of heroines and protagonists.
Junejo is inspired by dance, mime and theatre. He observes human behaviour through postures, movements and portions of anatomy.
One of his paintings, titled ‘Yin and Yang’ is about two women, both lying opposite to each other on colourful cushions while wearing high heal sandals. The painting expresses how two similar people, can still retain their own personalities and differences.
Illustrating how on the surface things might appear the same, but when you dig deeper, they may be absolute opposites. Appearances can be deceiving; lives can be different for individuals. Perhaps, one is enjoying happiness and pleasure in life while the other is deprived and facing oppression.
The artist said, “Exploring different surfaces and facades such as skin and fabric help me understand the various facades we wear, almost as costumes, in our daily lives.”
For Junejo, colour theory is very relevant. He uses black and white denoting virginity or purity, while hyper realistic tones of flesh, yellow and red denote the experience that taints or diminishes innocence, virtually putting a price on ‘ourselves without even realising’, were his own words.
On the other hand, Zaidi’s paintings focus on women and thoughts. In one of her artwork titled ‘Conflicting Thoughts’ she portrays a woman, who is sitting on the floor, and appears to me immersed in deep thought. The artist has juxtaposed line figures on a black background, with a contrasting cream dress.
Several of her paintings have been executed using the same technique. Although the figures are made in copper lines, just giving a hint of the whole, the dress is complete with folds, solid colour and textures. The paintings express situations when we often sit motionless when concentrating
on problems of every day life.
Zaidi in her statement asserted, “In my paintings, transparency flows through the drapery symbolising the mystery and simplicity inherent in every woman – exuding elusion, revealing lot more than meets the eye. With works focused on figures, commenting on both the realms of the body and its façade, my work aims to depict the female persona acting as a bridge between the inner and outer worlds.”
Another painting ‘Not again’ is of a woman, who has her arm supporting her head while sitting, as if she is somewhat stretching. The painting narrates the worst conditions or unlike situations, which we face in our life again and again.
The other woman artist, Abbas has also focused on women. But her women are more within dreams. ‘The Invocation’ by Abbas is about a lady, wearing a scarf and make-up. Using pastels on mount card, the artist has rendered a dream of knights in shining armours.
The show was conceived with a desire to bring together young artists and recent graduates from the National College of Arts, Lahore. It highlighted different journeys of self-investigation and studies of the behavioural aspect of each artist’s social psyche. The works on display are bound together by a resonance of the past; the artists tell their individual story, choosing what to highlight and what to cast into shadow.
Khilji’s images cloud a viewer’s judgment as much as they cloud the subject of the piece itself. Drawn from stories, myths and tales from his youth, Khilji enjoys drawing parallels between the subtle and the greater meanings of the lessons learnt from lore; in essence, transcending to the role of a story teller himself.
The artist said, “I loved it when my grandfather used to tell tales, which were actually myths that took decades to evolve. There used to be subtle lessons in those tails that at the same time had a greater meaning. It’s a conversation with the medium and me, in search of light complementing the dark – as there is harmony in the dark ambiance.”
The artist considers time to be of the essence. Time; as the fourth dimension that works in layers and gives a complete picture of the whole. “It is really natural how an image starts to generate. Suddenly it emerges from the landscape of peace and solitude that one needs, like the storm that fathoms into the sea and a silence is felt in the figures, figures that appear to contradict each other’s presence at the same time having a dialogue that never ends meeting at a point in time,” he stated.
The exhibition will continue until June 1.
Source: Daily Times