A two-person show was held recently where Mariam Habib and Rabia Ali displayed their recent work at ArtChowk Gallery, Karachi. Both artists’ have explored the concept of body memories, which give the audience an insight into how they individually perceive bodies in the context of social and gendered experiences and stories.
Mariam Habib speaks about her inspiration behind this series, “We are all human and have the same experiences, we all feel the same things. I use my practice as a bridge between the self and the collective. I think a lot about the context in which my experiences occur and invite people and animals to partake in my reimagining and revisiting of them. An allegorical approach allows me the luxury of brutal honesty as I meander through social, cultural, political and most importantly gendered ideas.I construct narratives in bright colors and frantic gestures with chalk pastel on large sheets of paper. The whole exercise is both a search for closure and a way for me to reclaim the agency that one is assigned but not always allowed to exercise. While creating art and in retelling stories through my own viewpoint, I have complete control over every aspect. It is freedom and power.”
Mariam’s work is bold and makes a statement. Her colour palette is bright and vivid and even though the themes and ideas she touches upon are quite serious, her joyful colour palette balances out the sombre themes. Her deft line work and confident strokes of colour make her work stand out.
Rabia Ali explores the evolutionary perspective between the abstract landscapes of the past, and human imagination. Deep-rooted re-constructions occur within our subconscious, reshaping themselves in accordance to event and experience.
“The mind possesses the ability to generate false, psychic occurrences, giving rise to the understanding of impermanence and transience. By probing the realms of imagination, dreams and fabrication, the unsteadiness of one's milieu is underscored. Events in the past, in their truest sense, are lost as they move forth through time, subject to imaginative reconstruction. Through whimsical texture and investigation of color, the pathways between imagined memory and the present bring to light concepts of transience, delusion, and subliminal fantasy.” Both artists’ have done a wonderful job of sharing their perspectives on this extremely personal topic.