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April 27, 2016

‘Beyond Innocence’ captures the scars of violence on canvas


April 27, 2016


In an effort to remind everyone of the Army Public School attack, the Canvas Art Gallery on Tuesday held a heartfelt display of paintings by Madiha Hyder portraying the grim aftermath of the bloodbath carried out on December 16, 2014.

Titled “Beyond Innocence” the oil paintings depicted the effects of violence through the innocence and sensitivities of young children.

In one of the paintings, a boy sat in a card box with a pair of scissors in one hand and a book with words of the national anthem, in the other. Titled ‘Hide and Seek’ the painting portrayed the horror through the wide eyes of a young boy.

“I saw the horrifying images of Army Public School attack and started working over this project in February. I also researched over similar incidents and it was quite painful to find that Pakistan was among those unfortunate countries where schools were not safe anymore,” said Madiha, a renowned artist, while explaining the ideas behind her paintings.

One of her works showed three children sitting adjacent to one other, and one of the girls was reading a book while the three boys carried arms and kept watch over her. One of the boys in the painting was also using binoculars to keep an eye out for any impending danger.  A rule of third was strictly followed in the painting to keep it aesthetically pleasing while the negative space was filled with barbed wire, amplifying the severity of the message.

Most of Madiha’s work was in black and white, narrating the irony of the society that failed to protect its own children.

“Now children are not safe even at place supposed to be the safest for them — schools,” said Sameera Raja, curator of the show. She said she liked the idea of paying honour to martyrs of violence and wanted this show to be exhibited in her gallery.

“The paintings are shocking and indeed relatable to all of us.

They contain a very fierce message in a very simple style,” said Rabia S Akhtar, who had come to see the exhibition.

The display of “Beyond Innocence” continues till May 5.


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