Vasl Artists’ Association presents ‘Visual Allegories: Unveiling Stories’ by Khadijah Rehman & Sarah Mir. The show will continue till Saturday, September 16, 2023 at The Gallery T2F.
Khadijah Rehman is a visual artist based in Lahore, Pakistan. Her artworks are influenced by figures and motifs found in South Asian miniature paintings and delve into the otherworldly quality of night-time introspections, particularly the ephemeral instances where humans exist as if within dreamscapes, caught within reminiscences of everyday moments of love or longing.
About the art work: Playing on a contrast between intricate detail and flat patches of color, between a tumbling together of texture and pattern and pallid faces, these works borrow from ancient and modern family photographs to create compositions reminiscent of dreamscapes.
The skewed compositions and natural elements seek inspiration from Mughal and Persian miniatures. At the same time, the night has been used as the backdrop for these strange scenes, of personal introspection and human interaction, ranging from acts of everyday familial intimacy to events that hover between the past and the present in their quality of universality. Visual elements from memory and dream come together to create a patchwork of imagery, with the motifs of windows, screens, and archways acting as a visual device to create tangible layers within the works, as if every set were a stage.
Like most dreams, oddities occur – slight instances of glitches in the fabric of the narrative, and strange birds, animals, and flora appear as if magnified by memory. Each work is a nod to some aspect of human interaction and behavior, and elements of family, love, longing, transformation, and introspection remain at the forefront.
Sarah Mir is a devoted art educator and serves as an Academic Coordinator at the Imperial Tutorial College, Karachi.
About the art work: Mir creates dynamic family portraits employing unique aesthetic language as she takes religion-cultural constraints into account, depicting notions of family life and propriety by juxtaposing family portraits with culturally accepted images.
The family members experience a comical, exaggerated distortion and despite remaining representational, may just manage to escape the invasive supervision implemented by societal norms.
The austerity of culturally relevant family dynamics is also mocked in a frivolous, facetious manner. Time, which is nostalgically preserved in family photographs, comes in conflict with the playful contemporary tone of the work.