From the firmament

Published January 3, 2014
– Photos by White Star
– Photos by White Star

It is common knowledge that the phrase ‘the sky’s the limit’ hints at the infinite possibilities that moving vertically entails. But there’s more to it.

Artists and writers have always been fascinated by the concept of time and space. Let’s say, if everything earthly or worldly can be tried to make sense of within the confines of time, everything metaphysical or unworldly relates to space.

Artist Anjum Saeed says her paintings, exhibited at the Koel Art Gallery under the title ‘Zameen Aasman Se’, are inspired by the ‘satellite photographs of the planet’ but the aforementioned concept has definitely something to do with the exhibition.

The thing that stands out in all the oil-on-canvas artworks is the strokes that she uses with complete abandon. There’s a hint of free-spiritedness to her art, which is not the subject of the show. But it’s through these free-flowing, bold and somewhat dense strokes that the artist brings to light the zameen-aasman dichotomy.

Actually, it’s the latter (aasman or sky) that is at the heart of the matter. Still, it would be a folly to interpret it in physical terms. Aasman is the blurred vision that often makes man aim higher or work harder to have a clearer view. It’s a metaphor for the ‘beyond’. It’s not that the paintings are one-dimensional in their approach to the topic. The explosion of colours, often accompanied by the dominant white highlighting the whiteness (read: greyness) of issues, is another important element to know where the artist is coming from.

These colours have a message of their own. They speak of the relationship between the horizontal and vertical space that connects two extremes, zameen and aasman. Also, as the viewer gets the hang of the exhibits, it is more likely that he will be able to detect ‘figures’ that have been submerged in this sea of colours and strokes. And once there, the viewer will only look up.

The exhibition will continue till Jan 7.

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