When you first lay eyes on the works of Sabiha Nasr-ud-Deen, you would be in awe of the beauty portrayed in her paintings. Her colours are bright and the subject is mostly nature, which is captured in various mediums. Sabiha’s solo show, ‘The Pakistan Saga’ is an ode to her country and its people, which the artist describes as ‘A prayer of gratitude and hope’ that capture the spirit of Pakistan.
There were over 50 art pieces on display and the exhibition was inaugurated by British Deputy High Commissioner Mr Mike Nithavrianakis. In an effort to make art accessible to a diverse audience, the exhibition was held at ArtKaam Gallery, rather than a hotel.
Her art reflects the love she has for her roots through her meticulously balanced colours. Her mediums are diverse: from wash and ink to oil with knife. From the arid lands of Balochistan, sky-high mountains of Karakoram, lush green valleys of Gilgit, the mighty river of Swat, beautiful lakes of Kalam, and barren lands of Sindh, her exhibition capture it all in a few strokes. From Rawalakot, Azad Kashmir to Ziarat in Quetta, Sabiha travelled across Pakistan, witnessing and capturing its sheer beauty into her breathtaking artworks; celebrating Pakistan, its culture and people.
Sabiha’s clear strokes and the daring colours are a reflection of her brilliance. She is, after all, a gold medallist from Punjab University in the Fine Arts Department. After concluding her Master’s Degree, she taught drawing and painting alongside Ali Imam at C.I.A.C. Her work has been exhibited at various venues in and out of Pakistan, and her versatile talent includes human portraits, landscapes, figurative, and still-life amongst others. Sabiha gives remarkable freedom to her brush strokes, choice of colours and sheer attention to detail.
“I rate Sabiha as one of the best landscape painters of Pakistan. Her use of thick vibrant colours and technique is simply awesome and does her teacher, Anna Molka, proud,” says artist Orooj Ahmed Ali.
Her work has been recognised by some of the most renowned names in the Art Community including Jimmy Engineer and Shahnawaz Zaidi.
According to artist and social crusader Jimmy Engineer, Sabiha is an artist of great potential having a versatile talent for capturing the spirit of expression whether it is a portrait of humans, landscape, figurative or still life the quality of work is maintained through hard work and dedication. “Her art reflects the love she has for her country Pakistan and its people through her beautifully painted canvases. We all wish her the very best in her future exhibitions.”
Shahnawaz Zaidi elucidates, “A few years back, I had the opportunity of visiting a lot of private art galleries in America and I was surprised to see that despite of turns and u-turns that modern art has taken since Marcel Duchamp’s ‘Fountain’, most of the art which is popular and is sold even today, is close to the impressionist style. Perhaps it is due to its universal appeal and aesthetic excellence that impressionism lives on to this day.”
He adds that Sabiha Nasr-ud-din is not an impressionist per-se, but her remarkable freedom of applying the brush strokes, her choice of colours and her excellence of drawing gives her work an incredible aesthetic appeal which reminds us of that golden period of art. “Sabiha was my class fellow in University and I have rarely seen a student so gifted and talented in my career of teaching spanning over 50 years. Unfortunately she decided to give all her time to textile and fashion design after her Masters, and painting went on the back burner.
After a long time, now she has once again turned her attention to painting and it’s delightful to see that she has not lost her touch as a master painter who can express so well in a variety of mediums. Her subjects vary from portraits to landscapes, still life to figure composition and her spontaneity and skill are unique and outstanding.”