Deer, jackals, wildcats and different birds, including peacocks and pheasants, are an integral part of the forest ‘Changa Manga’. Though some are not common to see, they are still connected with its beauty. And, regrettably, we are fast losing them in their natural habitat.
These views were shared by an artist, M Arshad, at an exhibition of his solo paintings titled ‘Inhabitant’ at Artscene Galleries on Wednesday.
“It’s very exciting to see the light in the early morning and around dusk, putting a spell on the monotonous depth of the jungle, and birds playing in their natural environment. I can’t help but paint them and now they also communicate in my work,” he said.
Marjorie Hussein, renowned art writer and critic, inaugurated the exhibition in the presence of an elite panel of critics. She said the gentle landscapes in the artwork of the artist were a balm to the troubled spirit.
“Here is a world of innocence where small creatures make their homes and peacocks gaze at the world from slender branches of trees in the forest glades of Changha Manga.”
Professor Saeed Akhtar, a recipient of Sitara-e-Imtiaz, was jubilant to see the artwork on display. “Depicting nature in its raw form is the hallmark of this young artist. He captures simple but unique moments of nature,” he remarked.
Adil Salahuddin, a recipient of presidential award for Pride of Performance, called the exhibition a gift to Karachiites, showing the natural scenes of the forests of Punjab, which were not seen in Karachi.
“It looks simple but each and every stroke is a masterpiece of its own. His emphasis is towards painting birds in their natural habitat, which has become the focal point of his artwork.”
Chitra Pritam, an impressionist, said the artist was inspired by Khalid Iqbal, the pioneer of landscape paintings in Pakistan. “The artist is trying to fill the void between society and nature through his paintings,” he said.
exhibitions play a vital role in a progressing society. There is a dire need to promote art and craft as it inculcates a softer side of life in a fast-moving city like Karachi. The exhibition will continue till March 31.