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June 30, 2019

Muntehaa inspires with her hued whodunits


June 30, 2019

Exhibition opens at Gallery6

By Our correspondent

Islamabad : An exhibition of misty, mystic, and mysterious watercolour paintings by the young and talented Muntehaa Azad, who has developed an iconic style so early in her artistic career, opens at Gallery6.

Born in Lahore, Muntehaa was keen to graduate in painting but succumbing to family influences, acquired Bachelors in Textile Design from the Punjab University College of Art and Design (PUCAD) in 2012, followed by a one-year postgraduate programme in Fashion Design from the Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture (IVS) in 2013. She got married to an architect in 2015 and has been living in Rawalakot, Azad Kashmir. AQ Arif, her drawing teacher at IVS, visited her and encouraged and insisted her to paint.

This advice became a blessing as it ignited Muntehaa’s suppressed passion to be a painter. She started a new journey with watercolours in early 2017 and she has been painting regularly since then. Over the last two and a half years, she has exhibited in four exhibitions of the International Watercolour Society (IWS) held in Karachi, Malaysia, Peru and Italy, and has had one solo show and two group exhibitions in Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad.

Each of Muntehaa’s paintings appears to be narrating an enigmatic story, to which one begins to relate with an element of surprise. Though the landscapes and images are drawn from her beautiful surroundings, they are given a new sensation, creating both serenity and a strange melancholy with imaginative surrealistic additions. The misty environment of the paintings enhances the compositions, giving them multiple interpretations. In some, it appears like fog and hence suffocating, while in others, it gives the impression of the rainy season’s romantic haze.

A few paintings with brighter light and clearer views indicate a distinct shift in the artist’s mood. These mostly have the sea, a pond or a stream in the foreground. The houses and huts do not appear to have been drawn from imaginary situations. They give the impression of being without inhabitants, even the paintings of the individual doors show them shut or locked. These elements add a new intriguing twist to her visual narrations

Describing her work, Muntehaa states, “My forte is painting dreamy and hazy landscapes. Having moved from the hustle and bustle of an urban environment to the quiet of the Himalayan foothills, my artwork is inspired by my current surroundings. These are etched in my mind and are now part of my fictional character, which I play within my life.” The exhibition will continue till July 4.

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