A group exhibition by Fariya Zaeem, Marium Khan, Nimra Shahid, Sadaf Farasat and Syeda Zainab Taj recently unfolded at ArtKaam Gallery in Karachi.
Fariya Zaeem is a contemporary expressionist painter. Over a decade of exploration she painted intuitively with spontaneous strokes, gestural elegance and fluidity – a transportation for both artists and viewers into a visual landscape and dialogue of vibrant hues, unfolding swirls, textural depth and layers forming its own narratives. She has experimented various techniques and embraced “serendipitous” moments on her substrate to bring the unexpected out of the ordinary. Her work comes across as vibrant, dynamic and holding a secret meaning to the various layers she paints.
Marium Khan’s work is realistic. She works with passion as a calligraphist, miniaturist, muralist, a fine artist, an illustrator and jewelry, clothes designer. She gives her painting vibrant and unique technique. Her landscapes are stunning pieces of art that bring hints at the nostalgic character of the place. The audiences are attracted to connect with the spaces she reflects on canvas that carry a certain message. Arches, steps, windows and verandas are dominant in her paintings that bring out a certain historical relevance and architectural significance. Use of foliage and greenery abound with a perfect balance that showcase the beauty of the space painted.
Nimra Khan is a British-Pakistani student currently studying architecture at the University of Arts, Central Saint Martins in London. She is an inspiring Architect; however, she chose to paint in her spare time as it not only allows her to exercise her skills but also helps to relieve stress. Her paintings are purposely painted in an ambiguous manner in order for the viewers to decide the end meaning. The fact that the true meaning behind each painting is left up to the viewer to decide immediately makes the painting personal to them. This challenges the viewers’ thoughts and creativity. This captivates a sense of unnerving in them, which is what she wants to achieve in each painting. When working with canvas, oil paints are used as a medium to achieve the softness of a fabric and human skin. Moreover, oil paints add a sense of richness allowing the work to stand out and be compelling. One of the pieces is on paper, which uses chalk and charcoal as a medium. The use of chalk and charcoal allowed the delicate and soft effect of a fabric and human skin to be achieved while also making the piece powerful.
Sadaf Farasat paints a variety of subjects using different media and techniques as she does not restrict her creativity to just one single theme. She paints whatever gives her the sense of being connected to the Creator! Farasat gets her inspiration from various phenomena and philosophies. Her work is mostly inspired by Sufism and how Man's relation with Allah is described in Sufism. For the artist, Sufism espouses a well-founded and thorough interpretation of Islam, which focuses on love, tolerance, worship of God, community development, and personal development through self-discipline and responsibility. Farasat’s work reflects a Sufi's way of life that talks about deserting the ego or false self and all illusion so that one can reach maturity and perfection. Her whirling dervishes are an epitome of transcending between the creator and the creation. Some of her work is in monochrome that brings out the sublime quality of tranquility. Her other works of whirling dervish depicts concentration and immerse to the divine. The portrayal of religious tombs in the background establishes a sense of belonging to the spiritual sentiment. It is symbolic of character, identity and a thought that is beyond worldly rituals.
For Syeda Zainab Taj, the work inspiration keeps altering in connection to her inner feelings and moods. In this exhibition, she has painted horses as she feels inspired by its free spirit, the strength, the unending pool of its energy with particular emphasis on its natural grace. She has used mostly tones of one hue and paints in different styles to portray its motion and its magical charm. Her strokes change from one painting to another, from bold to delicate depending on the moment and her moods leaving the audience to decipher the true colours of art. The motion of the horses is beautifully shown in her paintings with hues of various colours intermingling and creating a collage-like effect. Painting the front and the side poses of the figures of horses, Zainab brings out the spirit of a free creature.