A group show titled “11 Statements” showcased the works of eleven artists including Abid Khan, Ajab Khan, Asim Amjad, Dr Khalid Mahmood, Erum Ashfaq, Muhammad Arshad, Naela Amir, Nazir Ahmed, Rabbia Maqsood, Raja Najam ul Hassan and Saba Rasheed. It was unveiled recently at Mussawir Art Gallery, Lahore where all the artists chose the genre of landscape and showcased various images of nature.
Abid Khan’s work is a depiction of Pakistan’s beauty. For him, life exists in its natural atmosphere as he exposes the withering moods of Mother Nature. Khan takes his inspiration from poverty and hardship in life that encourages him to improve his work. Art to him is a medium of expression devoid of social discrimination. Communicating through art is what Khan aims to do to address emotional and psychological issues. He finds harmony in the natural splendors that surrounds him; the song of a nightingale, whispering breeze of summer, calmness of winter frost and the withering colours of autumn. His paintings transcend a struggle to realize the beauty around us.
Ajab Khan paints landscapes with sincerity and love for the soil of his motherland. In his work, the element of love is obvious which bonds him to the land and inspires him to paint. Most of his paintings are mirrors into the rural life with simple beauty of nature that is almost awe-inspiring. He captures the colours of the bright morning in their full bloom; the bright, intense sunshine, the vivid shades of green trees, the brilliance of the crop fields and the glistening streams.
For Asim Amjad facing various disturbing situations that are beyond comprehension create chaotic circumstances around us. His landscape pieces are all about a ray of hope, clarity and calmness that are brought about through melodious objects. In his work, he focuses on producing an effect of shimmer and brightness that leads to increased beauty and charm of nature that engulfs us in moments of anarchy. Amjad suggests an overwhelming ambiance of natural landscape that heightens tranquility and subliminally leads to peace of mind.
Prof Dr Khalid Mahmud’s paintings reflect the emotional aspect of the artist. The paintings are landscape, however to the artist all the segments evident within act as motifs representing various poignant moments. All the paintings seem to be painted at the spur of the moment, when the urge seizes him to narrate his inner thoughts. Most of the paintings showcase the outer appearance of the factual sight of a visible object that translates the ebb and flow of life’s intricacies. The artist’s proclivity is inclined more towards expressionism often in a lyrical form.
Erum Ashfaq’s work is certainly a work of natural talent with candid strokes, never overwhelmed by any externalities since she has not been educated in fine arts from any formal institution. She is a born artist for landscape paintings are a manifestation of her love for nature and its varying moods. She has very intricately transformed her unfathomable observation of tempers of living daylights, whether in fog or at noon. Her sophisticated strokes provide a glimpse of the beauty of autumn in Islamabad like a dense cloak enveloping tall and quite pine trees, sturdy bamboo forest or cluster of olive green trees.
The landscapes of Muhammad Arshad are like a balm to the troubled spirit. He portrays a world of innocence where small creatures make their homes and peacocks gaze at the world from slender branches of trees in the forest glades. He paints the tangled grass and trees in autumn as he discovers the nuances of mood and light, the wealth of nature’s designs. His uncluttered linear trees stand without leaves, graceful and elegant. He chooses to place his objects against distant, soft impressions of clumps of foliage against a background of pastel skies. With apparent ease, the artist creates imperceptible graduations of merging colours. There is peace and softness in the world he discovers. His paintings evoke a comforting assurance of continuity where the pattern of nature seemingly reigns supreme and the observer is aware of a release of unrealized tension.
Naela Amir’s work draws its substance from the subtle expressions of Nature that speak of human footprint. It is in the objects and situations that she finds fascinating clues to the multi-layered interaction between human form and Mother Nature. Whether it is a landscape or cityscape, she chooses to emphasize the lack of being in order to nurture the feeling of melancholy and belonging. Some of her work is an expression of the present mode of human society, wherein she finds a loss of organic connectivity. The others depict natural elements such as sea shells, coral remnants and trees that embody the yearning of the Earth. Her work is an attempt to stir and question the present mode of human consciousness by allowing it to see what has been blurred in a shifted focus.
One of the most eminent and skilled landscape painters of Pakistan, who flourished under the guidance of great Khalid Iqbal, Nazir Ahmad’s landscapes done in pen and ink, water colour and oil paint speak volumes about his work. He has indulged in this pursuit for more than four decades and his work is the result of in-depth observation, understanding and direct communication with his surroundings. As an artist he captures the changes with hours of the day and seasons of the year. Nazir Ahmad has been awarded the Tamgha-e-Imtiaz in 2012 for his great contributions in the field of arts.
The artist Rabbia Maqsood portrays the mysteries of the nature with its full blooming beauty on the canvas. She feels the tornado of colours in the existence of every particle and tries to capture that. Her canvas is a chaos of abstraction connecting with nature. She paints in vivid colours with such bold strokes that her work stands out for its sheer beauty.
When painting, the artist Raja Najam ul Hassan feels a personal connection with nature. He tries to capture the mood, atmosphere, sounds and smells of the landscape around him. His first impression of the scene must stimulate and excite his senses. For him, the process of creating a painting contains all the experiences past and present along with his passions, skills and control.
Saba Rasheed expresses herself through my art. Most of her subjects are a reflection of beauty of natural landscapes. She paints in oil to enhance the richness of colours. Influenced by the great Impressionists, her goal is to capture light and atmosphere in every painting while creating a well composed, unique and interesting work of art. She prefers the viewer to see and feel the beauty, tranquility and wonder that exists in nature. Taking painting as a poetic expression, she transcends her thoughts through visual diaries.