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April 15, 2019

Neelofar’s traditional art pieces with contemporary feel on display


April 15, 2019

Islamabad : The Deputy Chief of the British High Commission Richard Crowder inaugurated an inspiring exhibition of amazing paintings by eminent artist Rukhe Nelofar Zaidi here at Nomad on Sunday.

Neelofer possesses extensive teaching experience at both university and school levels. She has exhibited her paintings in Pakistan and abroad. From 2007 onwards, she worked in different countries including India, Italy, Turkey, many states of the USA and Japan, and in different artists’ residencies. Her first experience of working internationally was at Montserrat College of Art, USA, where she was invited as a visiting artist and lecturer in 2004.

“Neelofar’s paintings are refreshing to the eye because of her use of strong and vibrant colours, which remain simultaneously subtle due to her skilful application. She is on a mission to change the everyday perception of art in Pakistan by engaging citizens and laypersons, and involving them in the aesthetic endeavors that once formed an essential part of the heritage of this land,” the gallery’s director Nageen Hyat stated.

In the early nineties, Neelofar changed her medium from oils to tempera and then gouache, realizing that the dominant medium for painting in Asia, and particularly in the subcontinent, was water-based. However, she found these mediums hard to preserve and discovered medium-viscosity acrylics which suited her perfectly.

“A change in medium brought about a subsequent change in style as well. Though my subject matter is traditional, the treatment is contemporary. I mostly use a bird’s eye-view in my paintings. Not only do I find it more challenging, but it also reflects how I like to look at life. This aerial perspective somehow makes it easier for me to understand our existence. I enjoy painting detailed motifs and strive to make my work expressive and visually interesting by balancing intricate details with flat areas,” Neelofar stated.

The artist said, her initial portrayal of women has also evolved over time and she recently finds herself focusing more on nature. “I believe this to be a reaction in terms of the deteriorating socio-political conditions in my country. At times, it seems as if all one sees on the electronic media or in newspapers is dead or mutilated bodies of innocent children, men and women. In an environment that is prevalently negative, I avoid focusing on the human form. I need to paint beautiful and serene subjects, not only for my sake but also for the sake of my audience. Nature is not only a symbol of freedom and hope for me, but also an exotic escape from the mundane,” Neelofar emphasised. The exhibition, which will continue till April 25.

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