The artist’s creation is often referred to as a reflection of society. The impressionable artist is highly susceptible to the world around them. Thus, the surroundings tend to become a part of their artworks, whether or not they are aware of this. Their craft – which often serves as an outlet and is a product of their notions, reactions and emotional outbursts – tends to hold hints about their environment.
The group show Structural Intricacies at My Art World presents the work of four Miniature artists, concentrating on the different pitfalls and hurdles within a society. The artworks are personal narratives, archiving the perceptions and concerns of the artists, or simply recording the multitude of emotions experienced by them.
Shamsuddin Tanwri touches upon the idea of displacement. He comments on the disparity between his former agrarian lifestyle and contemporary urban culture. The artist’s work stems from his inability to cope with these two diverse worlds. He uses polythene as a symbol of suffocation, making his discomfort evident. The exquisitely rendered images help the viewer understand how stifled the artist feels. One can almost feel the wrinkled texture of the plastic, and the rustling of the polythene sheet. The artwork exudes a sense of helplessness in the face of adversity as the figure is trapped under the airtight material. Tanwri has displayed his skill in more than one medium. The Miniature paintings as well as his charcoal sketches exhibit immense skill and dexterity.
Fariha Rashid’s images, although made of dark hues, have a relatively tranquil nature. The surface is calm and composed, but there is an underlying sense of turmoil. The artist battles her inner demons through the celestial setting she has created. Her imagery possesses a dynamic quality, yet her images seem rather silent. The empty background which might be conceived by some as sinister, in some ways gives relief from the busy foliage that seems to be spreading to most of the surface. Amidst the power struggle between the backdrop and foliage stands the figure trying to hold his/her ground. Rashid’s use of symbols leaves the imagery open to interpretation, thus successfully holding the viewer’s attention.
Conversely, Surhan Nizamani has taken up a more direct approach to conveying her ideas as she picks up popular items such as coins, ropes and loudspeakers. The concept behind her work, although conveyed loud and clear, proves less effective on the whole, as the recurrent sighting of such imagery and the fixed connotations attached to it reduce interest for viewers.
Waheed Bhutto takes it upon himself to debate honour killing, forced marriages, and the tradition of complying in unpleasant situations. He talks about a society where free will is an illusion. Each of Bhutto’s images offers a different visual vocabulary. The artist uses a range of methods to present his ideas, showing particular expertise in the rendering of the human body.
Structural Intricacies provides these artists with an outlet and a platform to voice their concerns, which might otherwise be drowned out by the dogmatic views of the society. The work will be on display at The Kitchen (E-7) till the 3rd of September, 2016.
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