Monday December 05, 2022

Iconography of Karachi’s coexisting structures signifies various belief systems

By News Desk
April 04, 2022

Anusha Ramchand Novlani’s art exhibition titled ‘Seven Billion Beliefs’ is running at the Canvas Gallery until April 7. According to her, in this body of work she depicts the coexisting structures in Karachi as they occur under the vastness of the same blue skies.

“Here, they come together under one roof, containing in themselves architectural significance and symbolic value. This work underscores the iconography of the structures as they come to signify various belief systems. The scale of these forms acts as a cosmological signifier in its monumentality as it interacts with the space.”

Born in Hyderabad in 1995, Anusha graduated with a distinction in fine art painting from Lahore’s National College of Arts in 2018. Based in Karachi, she looks to advance one step further by divulging her passion on a much bigger scale.

Having an affinity for the pure painting technique does not limit her potential and vision. Instead of considering herself just another painter, she embraces and lets loose her creativity and imagination on any canvas through any medium she sees fit, thus positioning herself as an avid believer in the era of visual artists instead of specialised art forms.

Since graduating, she has had prominent shows at the Canvas Gallery, the O Art Space, the AAN Gandhara Art Space, the Karachi Biennale, the Lahore Biennale and the Full Circle Gallery.

Her work has also appeared in various magazines and other publications. She was an artist in residence at the Vasl Artists’ Association for Taaza Tareen (2021) and is the recipient of the Vasl-KKAF (Khurram Kasim Art Foundation) Research Grant 2021-2022.

The research grant aims to support and fund talented emerging artists who demonstrate artistic merit and commitment to their creative practice, and show a keen interest in engaging and building ties with the community.

The yearlong grant supports artists in research and in creation of original works. They are also awarded a solo show at the Canvas Gallery. Artists are chosen from among Vasl’s annual Taaza Tareen residents.

Since 2019 the KKAF has annually sponsored the yearlong Vasl research grant, and since then the Canvas Gallery has been showcasing the works produced by the Vasl-KKAF Research Grant recipient artists.

Anusha is the fourth recipient of the research grant. She was the qualifying resident artist chosen from the 13th Taaza Tareen residency programme ‘Creative Alternatives’.

The KKAF is a not-for-profit organisation that was created by Karachi-based art collector Khurram Kasim and launched in 2017. Through educational programmes, residencies, grants and events, the KKAF seeks to facilitate and foster cultural exchange and dialogue between local and international artistic practices and art networks.