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August 24, 2019

‘Bliss of Solitude’ opens


August 24, 2019

LAHORE: “Bliss of Solitude” - an exhibition of landscape and heritage buildings, by young artist Erum Ashfaq, opened at Oyster Art Galleries.

Erum Ashfaq, virtually a professional in field of urban planning and economics, but in real terms a born artist. To her, it was all matter of destiny that each particle of nature compelled her to the world of colours.

“Bliss of Solitude”, is another milestone on her way to find depths and new challenges in the field of painting. She has certainly added more to her canvas than before. Her paintings show that her strokes are much mature than before and present various parts of the country. She travels and gives variety to her canvas for portraying landscapes ranging from small town country areas to hills, lakes, canals and forests amalgamated with different light effects and moods of weather. Erum, originally a graduate and Masters from Engineering University Lahore (UET), an Economist from PU, was completely unaware of her tremendous talent until she won a painting competition where jury was from NCA. This made her challenging nature more inclined to probe her and check her level of expertise. She finally emerged on the horizon of art world in 2010 when Nayyer Ali Dada gave her first opportunity to exhibit her art in his gallery. It was a profound effect of her powerful strokes and use of colours that made viewers approved of her art skills when she was not professionally accomplished in arts from any formal institution.

It was an extremely short time when her heritage buildings set in afternoon shadows caught interest of not only the aristocratic art-lovers but people from every walk of life got attracted to. Her paintings create a nostalgia that drives one to a certain mood. The artist gives variety to her canvas; her happiness is always roses while sorrows are broken walls with dying daylight. Her pivotal point of paintings is certainly afternoon. She says,”afternoon is the most powerful time of a day. It lies on verge of a living and a dying day. This time is gloomy and so is unfathomable. The time depicts a moment where happiness departs and sadness sets in”. “Bliss of Solitude” is her derivation of a famous phrase from William Wordsworth poem, “Daffodils”. She indicates her loneliness opens her inward eye and she can see loveliness of nature more than ever. This compels her palette to transform intricacies of feelings and manifests them in colours. Her miraculous use of colour and delicate strokes give a never-ending depth to the painting which makes one have a sense of being at that place. She mainly uses light and shadows to express the contrast of life, of happiness and grief, day and night, the combination of nature that makes perfections.

Heritage buildings are Erum’s centre of interest to paint. She is obsessed with old places, since she never believes, deep inside, time never on. To her, it never does so, rather each passing moment settles in our soul, decorates it, nourishes it, sometimes destroys it but always remains a part of us. She painted her this feeling in a “self-portrait” where she turns her head back to time that passed on but settled its remains on her soul. She has so far conducted over 20 exhibitions both solo and group in and outside Pakistan.

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