The beauty of solitude

By Iqra Sarfaraz
Tue, 05, 18

This week, You! takes a look at the recently held art exhibition titled, ‘Solitude’, curated by Salima Hashmi at Koel Gallery, Karachi...


This week, You! takes a look at the recently held art exhibition titled, ‘Solitude’, curated by Salima Hashmi at Koel Gallery, Karachi.

‘The intangible body’ by Natasha Malik

Pakistan has been blessed with its fair share of talented artists in many different fields including the art of painting. The works of legendary painters like A. R. Chugtai and Sadequain are among the most respected and recognised around the world. However, historically, as has been the case in the West, there are very few women painters who have acquired such a high recognition. In the 1996 edition of his book, ‘Painting in Pakistan’, Ijaz-ul-Hassan beautifully presents the history of painting starting from the Mughal era and introduces the works of close to 100 painters from the region. 

Always encouraging the new talent, this time around as well, Hashmi recently curated the works of several young artists at Koel Art Gallery in Karachi. The exhibition featured the works of art based on Faiz Ahmed Faiz’ poem ‘Tanhai’ (means solitude) hence named with the title ‘Solitude’. “I asked these artists to see their work through the window of Faiz’s poem. I told them to see whether the two connect well with each other or not,” shared Hashmi.

The artists who took part included Shah Abdullah Alamee, Abid Aslam, Shaheera Aslam, Malcolm Hutcheson, Natasha Malik and Wardha Shabbir whose art was in-sync with Faiz’s own feeling of loneliness in one way or the other. “By utilising a defined definition and terms of aestheticism, I have created my work by looking more into the excellence of word ‘Tanhai’ which had been given as a title for the show.

Shaheera Aslam

On the other hand, artist Shaheera Aslam believes that it is not just humans who face loneliness, it is the places we leave behind us, which are also subjected to it. These places age with time (representation of web and darkness) and become lonely as nobody comes back to visit and fix them.

The art exhibition saw a tremendous response by several art enthusiasts and media persons. Famous artist Amin Gulgee called ‘Solitude’ an ‘extremely beautiful’ innovation by Salima Hashmi and wished her all the best for future. There were people from different walks of life who came to admire the exhibition and young talent that it intended to deliver.