When we are touched, we are moved. This transformative experience is the thing that an artist is always chasing. Artists break rules and find unconventional ways of approaching societal issues, domestic violence against women, religion, nature, life, Sufism and love.
All this has been on display at an exhibition, featuring works of 35 artists, which opened at the Clifton Art Gallery last Thursday and will continue till April 28. Khusro Subzwari’s painting ‘Whirling Dervishes’, an oil-on-canvas, with the main theme based on Mevlana Rumi’s verses, is a total embodiment of inspiration that derives from Rumi’s poetry on spirituality and love.
According to Subzwari, his inspiration is drawn from the belief in the invisible spiritual world and that there is more to life than the visible materialistic world. He says he is highly inspired and driven by Rumi’s verses and privileged to convey these feelings to the masses through his art. In his view, the spiritual enlightenment leads to the soulful life with extraordinarily high energy.
“For me, painting is all about relationship. Through this I establish relationship with the past and make history synonymous with our souls. In my paintings, you can see an abstract interpretation of the human soul. Every painting of my collection is a new discovery. I work for the beauty of nature with personal interpretation as the artist’s individual subject creates a feeling of intimacy with the viewer,” said another artist, Mona Naqsh, daughter of renowned artist Jamil Naqsh.
“I have heard that art speaks for itself, but after looking at these astonishing paintings, now I know how true it is. Every painting is so wonderful and speaking out the theme of the painting itself. It is mesmerizing that how beautifully these artists have showed the issues in the society through their paintings,” said a visitor, Hassan Ahmed, while sharing his experience about the exhibition.
Nahid Raza graduated from The Central Institute of Arts and Crafts (CIAC) and started displaying her work in the early 1970s. She has exhibited her work around the globe numerous times and established herself as one of the few female names in Pakistan’s art industry. Her work focuses on the quandary of women, and the ups and downs and sometimes disappointments women face every day.
“My work represents today’s women’s issues. My portraits can be perceived both as work of art and also a tool which will contribute to women’s empowerment. My illustration reflects those global problems that women face every day. My work depicts the solitude in dark rooms. At times, I dedicate more detail and definition to objects that show how important the role of women in this world is,” said master artist Raza.
Huma Javed, who was visiting the gallery with her friends, said: “After our exams we have to decide our career path and for that we need a correct direction. I myself love painting and drawing but people keep telling me that it’s better to choose some other field rather than opting to become an artist as we don’t appreciate art and artists here in Pakistan. But after coming here and looking at this absolute soul-shaking work, I am so impressed that it gave me goosebumps and now I really want to be an artist.”