Wednesday May 22, 2024

Exploring God and the human connection

By Umer Sheikh
July 25, 2016

‘Virdh’, an exhibition of artist Nahid Raza’s latest collection,

runs at the Canvas Art Gallery till July 28


French philosopher Pierre Teilhard Chardin’s quote “We are not human beings having spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having human experience” is what instantly came to mind while going through artist Nahid Raza’s latest exhibit, Virdh, put on display at the Canvas Art Gallery.

The artist has drawn a complicated yet marvellous connection between God and human beings while using the single Arabic alphabet Alif.

“Her work is always amazing. The way she has portrayed the relationship of God with His creation is fascinating,” said Abid, an attendee at the gallery.

Brilliantly portraying the value of that single letter in her paintings, Nahid by the use of specific colours has managed to mend a human’s association with the divine, interrupted, according to her due to a barrage of latest information owing to rapid technological advancements of this day and age.

Nahid certainly wants the visitors to look within and identify with their souls instead of ignoring them, because only a living spirit can join one to God.

Famous for its cultural diversity and Sufi school of thought, the sub-continent has of late experienced revulsion towards Sufism owing to increasing religious extremism.

The artist has, however, diverted our attention towards this crucial issue and has left some lucid hints in her paintings for the visitors to identify with.

“It is extremely difficult to portray an entire school of thought in a painting, but Nahid has nonetheless managed to do it in a noteworthy manner,” said Wajiha Saleem.

In a painting, the artist depicts a circle within a circle to portray the complexity of human brain. Humans have a set pattern of thinking and implementing, we function in particular frameworks, be they of morality, education or any other, while the outer space depicts a wider and larger perception of spirituality. Frame centrality is well maintained along with the edges left untouched.

Another piece highlights the significance of Alif drawn with light grey colour over a blue background. A cluster of patterns in the background portrays the existence of other alphabets but Alif stands out. Rule of third is sustained with fine use of colour line.

“One can easily find an essence of Sufism and spirituality in all her pieces,” said Riaz, an art lover also in attendance at the gallery.  The show will continue till July 28.