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Creativity at its best

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By You Desk
Tue, 12, 22

Recently, the 10th celebratory show of The Crafters Guild took place, with Nigar Nazar as the chief guest, who shared her experience of being at the exhibition…

Nigar Nazar at one of the stalls.
Nigar Nazar at one of the stalls.

art exhibition

The Crafter’s Expo has garnered a regular audience in the hearts of Karachi people over the last ten years. Despite two years lost to the pandemic, it is still one of the most anticipated annual events, which has not only uplifted 1300 creative businesses and start-ups directly through events, but has also impacted hundreds of thousands of individuals over the years toward believing in the mantra ‘Happiness Is Handmade’.

Recently, the ten year celebration of ‘Firefly’ took place at The Crafters Expo. Beautifully curated stalls by artisans from Bhitshah and Qalat had their stalls as a form of rehabilitation after the floods. Also participating were ESNAF, The Karachi Down Syndrome group. Varah Musavir, a textile graduate of Indus Valley School of Art, is the creator and force binding force behind this. I found several touches of humaneness behind the scenes; what with gifting sewing machines to Hunar Ghar as a tribute to individuals from the local community.

Varah Musavir made sure that all creative enthusiasts, housewives or professionals delved into the passion that needed nurturing. She gave them three months preparation time which culminated with the exhibition on 13th November to celebrate the tenth anniversary. There was an abundance of stalls and displays and being the chief guest, one was expected to go through all the stalls which were no less than hundred.

Creativity at its best

Aliza Munim, a very talented artist, was part of the exhibition, gifted with amazing skills. Aliza cannot hear or speak like the rest of us, but her work spoke loudly about everything. She showcased her work under the banner of ‘World of Art’ displaying beautiful paintings. On the spectrum of art, another display by Sidra Mumtaz was of resin art. She launched her business of resin art pieces, homemade mugs and fridge magnets whereas Hiba Mansoor was excited about launching a business of baby products such as baby nests, cute little booties, and stuffed toys under her banner ‘Tiny Feet’. Mariam Kashif the person behind ‘Creative Hands’ had a stall with lovely hand painted galaxy of items from shoes to giveaway boxes to soft boards. Ruba Ilyas had a vast display of hand-painted imitation jewellery, purses clutches and vases.

Creativity at its best

Close to being overwhelmed, I was so engaged, I almost forgot to do my story session with my latest book on climate change ‘My Treebook’. But the work of these enthusiastic entrepreneurs was not to be ignored; like Amna Dhanani with her book, ‘170 Pages of Life’ which she signed and gifted and the group of young men led by Tahir who are doing a business in paper under the banner of Goosepaper called ‘Kaghaz Wala’. Their beautifully crafted goose caught my attention and I hope to see them launch their artsy paper business in other cities, as well.

Creativity at its best

Another artist by the name of Amna, had handmade notebooks, stickers and other stationary supplies. One noteworthy stall was of a humble woman who recycled newspapers to make lovely craft as well as recycled scraps of fabric to make little toy animals for key chains, under the supervision and support of RLCC (Ranaa Liaqat Craftsmen Colony, a vocational training centre).

15-year-old Eesa bin Imran, authored his novel ‘Humanity Edge’ and sold it at the exhibition. Twin sisters Tayba and Sakina started their business with hand painted pebbles. Their resources was the straightforward seashore from where they collected pebbles of all sizes. They had a beautifully displayed stall with many quirky pieces. Not to miss Nazia Ahmer’s ‘Forage Organic’ with 100 per cent raw honey and miracle balm. Another talented girl Hira showcased her lovely leather handbags and accessories under the banner of ‘Gul-Rala’.

Creativity at its best

Many stalls were able to garner good business with their popular items of cushy prayer mats and zippers, among other things. The displays were catchy and prices were affordable. The products and items displayed at the stalls were not just any run of the mill; they were good in their exhibit, with explanatory brochures and reasonable pricing. Any product you purchased was presented in a sophisticated manner and not dealt with like a local shop or store. All credit goes to the training imparted by Firefly. You had to be there to absorb the whole buzz and munch at the food stall section. Arguably, such events are a wonderful way of bringing works of many different artists from various categories under one platform.