Time Stilled opens at Koel

Published August 20, 2014
TWO of the artefacts on display at the Koel art gallery on Tuesday.—White Star
TWO of the artefacts on display at the Koel art gallery on Tuesday.—White Star

KARACHI: A four-day exhibition of artefacts from the collection of educationist Zulekha and her journalist husband, Varis, who travelled all around the globe when they were alive, opened at the Koel Art Gallery on Tuesday. A few years before her death, Zueikha dedicated her assets to a registered charity to help the poor get proper schooling.

The exhibition is titled ‘Time Stilled’. But it is quite interesting to see that the exhibits on display have the kind of energy to them which cannot be associated with inertia or stillness. Far from it. It’s time in motion, work in progress. I shall explain.

There’s a wide variety of artefacts, ranging from sculpted pieces made in bronze to prints to paintings to tiny little drawings. Speaking of drawings, according to artist Noorjehan Bilgrami, who runs the gallery, one of the tiny pieces made in the early ‘90s has two giant artists in it: Ali Imam and Tasadduq Sohail. And the gesture suggests that the latter is not happy with the former, in a cute way though. It’s a nice little work of art, depicting moods through lines that come across as delightfully squiggly.

William Daniell’s engravings make the viewer help understand Zulekha and Varis’s profound understanding of history and art. Ms Bilgrami says the engravings take us back to the early 19th century Calcutta. The images of some of the old buildings made by the artist are quite a sight because it’s mainly through straight lines that he’s created striking pictures.

Then there are figures which suggest they depict life on the African continent. A fair share of the exhibits belongs to the Indian subcontinent; the gods and goddesses from Hindu mythology are there as well, not to mention pieces of marble that add colour and variety to the show.

Proceeds from the sale of the exhibits will go to educating the children of a Moach Goth school.

Published in Dawn, August 20th, 2014

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