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October 10, 2018

Acclaimed painter Farhat Gul exhibits work


October 10, 2018

Islamabad : A colourful display of artwork by acclaimed artist Farhat Gul showcased a varied collection of over 20 paintings at Chaaye Khana here.

While her favourite subject is the people and culture of Pakistan, animals also recur in Farhat’s works, especially horses, for which she mostly used the medium of oil paint and juxtaposed contrasting colours.

She told ‘The News’ that for the first time, she’d experimented with calligraphic techniques using silver and gold leaf.

“It has added richness to my works,” she said.

Farhat said the people usually asked for paintings of dervishes for which she made special efforts to add ‘movement’ so that they didn’t look photographs.

A graduate of the University of the Punjab, Lahore, she’s inspired by her teacher, Anna Molka Ahmed, the pioneer of fine arts in the country. She also had the opportunity to learn from other celebrated painters, especially Ghulam Rasool and Zubaida Javed.

Farhat said she didn’t paint much in the early years of married life but resumed it after the children grew up.

“I’ve been painting regularly for over 10 years and have held four solo exhibitions,” she said, adding that she used mixed mediums on canvas.

According to her, in the past, the artists used to place canvas on the roadside and began painting but things have changed a lot over the years due to the technological advancements.

“I take the photographs of things, which inspire me, and re-compose them according to my requirements before I start to paint on canvas,” she said.

Farhat was happy to see fine arts establish itself as a profession in the country.

“When I expressed my keen desire to take up fine arts as a major, my family opposed it saying there was no future in it but I went ahead due to the encouragement of my paternal aunt. The time has changed now. Fine arts promise a good future, especially after the advent of digital art and other mediums, which offer lots of opportunities for experimentation,” she said.

She also said having paintings of noted artists had become a status symbol these days with members of the elite class being ready to pay large sums of money to decorate their homes with them.

Farhat was joined by her niece, Annie Kamran, who also displayed her beautiful artwork on the theme ‘The Awesome Mountains’.

Painting since graduation in fine arts eight years ago, she said she loved to stay close to nature and that was evident in her works.

She said as a freelance painter, she covered themes from landscapes to horses to floral compositions to calligraphy.

The young artist said artwork could help address serious issues by creating public awareness.

“As an environmentalist at heart, pollution bothers me a lot and therefore, I want to highlight the grave issue through my works for corrective steps,” she said.

Annie said though many private companies were doing a good job by spreading such messages, she still felt that the people could handle the issue themselves by keeping their own surroundings clean.

Visitor Anjum Riazul Haq, a retired person, said she loved the effects Farhat Gul had created and the aura she’d tried to evoke through her works, especially the paintings of dervishes.

“For me, it is an aura of belief it is an aura of progress in the spiritual world. That is how I look at it,” she said.

She’d special praise for the paintings on Spanish dances. “Farhat Gul’s paintings are all about exuberance, life, and happiness, and she’s conveyed all her messages through them very skilfully,” she said.

Anjum was amazed at the works of Annie Kamran. “I’ve seen her (Annie’s) paintings for the first time and must say what a good artist she’s. She’s captured these mountains in a very fine manner. It all is a very realistic presentation,” she said.

Another visitor, Samina Munir, said she was impressed by Farhat’s paintings as they’re based on close observation of nature.