KARACHI, Feb 2: All artists go through a process of evolution. It is a natural progression. Some find it hard to grapple with the forward movement in a creative way; others use it to their advantage by allowing themselves to undergo the natural process. Aqeel Solangi has come a long way. He has certainly progressed, by leaps and bounds, as an artist and has matured as far as skill and craft are concerned. At the same time, the horizon of his subjects has broadened, as is evident from an exhibition of his latest body of work titled Relocation Mapped which got under way at the Koel Art Gallery on Thursday.
However the viewer may interpret the artworks, there is a definite unity of theme at play here. A critic has termed Solangi’s effort an attempt to grasp the human condition.
This is one way of looking at it. But a closer examination of the exhibits will reveal that the artist is aiming high, very high, literally and figuratively. By using some known objects, such as clouds and creaky, temporary abodes, Solangi tries to divert the viewer’s attention towards the readily understandable. But actually it is the atmosphere that surrounds these objects which he wants to create an impact with. It is haunting. The action lies in the periphery, not in the centre. This implies that the artist is suggesting that if the human condition is appalling (or vice versa), whatever or whoever has caused it is not in a peaceful state either.
Take for example an untitled (diptych) artwork done in mixed media on paper. Solangi has divided it into three parts: the first one is marked by a circular shape, oval to be precise with darkness all around it; the middle one has a triangle and at the base of the triangle there’s another circle; and the bottom part has a flower placed in an another circular light. Now the triangle is to do with balance and the circle with unity. There is something askew. The flower is a way to smoothen or soften the thing that has gone off-centre. And the centre depicts divinity.
The exhibition will continue until Feb 10.