Islamabad : Gallery6 Islamabad is celebrating Pakistan Day this year in a unique way by introducing Tahir Bilal Ummi -- a labourer as a landscape painter—in a solo show aptly titled ‘Mein Bhi Pakistan Houn’ (I too am Pakistan).
Shareen Ellahi, Chairperson of Mac Bevan Charitable Trust of UK, inaugurated the exhibition. The trust works in three areas namely, prevention or relief of poverty or financial hardship by helping individuals
become self-sufficient; advancement of healthcare to save lives; and provision of education, training and support schemes.
Tahir Bilal Ummi was born in Shahpur Saddar, a tehsil in Sargodha in 1990. His father was not only a poet but an artist too, earning his living through paintings on Iqbal’s poetry, on partition of 1947, and also doing truck art. He became Ummi's role model from early childhood, but Ummi faced an unexpected jolt at the age of 8, when his father died due to a sudden heart attack, leaving behind a widow, three daughters and three sons.
Financial constraints forced Ummi to give up his education after completing 5thgrade and to start working as a labourer at the age of 12. However, his love for art continued and in his free time, he took instructions from Tahir Mehmood, an artist colleague of his father.
Eleven years back, Ummi moved to Talagang, a picturesque tehsil of district Chakwal. This inspired him to paint landscapes and he began painting regularly. Whatever money he could save after meeting family expenses, he would spend on buying paints and canvases. In 2018, he met artist Ajab Khan who provided further guidance. Ajab also invited Ummi to work with him outdoors, which improved Ummi’s painting significantly, as evident from the current body of work.
Ummi is able to capture an immediate impression of what the eye sees and makes use of colour and texture to create an atmosphere that exists. The joy of being in lush green lands exudes from paintings. He very carefully presents how light and shade appears on subjects at different times of the day, adding to the attractiveness in scenes. This shows his adoration for the striking beauty of nature and admiration of bright sunlight on fields, rivers, ponds and lakes – helping him create emotionally strong landscapes.
This body of work is in response to the many varied aspects of the district he lives in. All his works have feelings and are expressive as well as descriptive. They capture the beauty of colours and their chromatic effects in nature.
Discussing the paintings, Dr. Arjumand Faisel, the curator of Gallery 6 said, “Ummi’s paintings portray his appreciation for the beauty of the nature. These work shows that he has an observant eye and tremendous potential to develop with encouragement. Gallery 6 is very pleased to launch this 29 year-old young man as an artist with confidence that this exhibition will change his destiny and will be a milestone in his life, leading him to the path of a fulltime professional painter.”
The exhibition will continue daily till Friday March 29 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the gallery premises in F-6 Super Market.