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ISLAMABAD: The beauty of everyday faces and fluid movement of dancing dervishes were skillfully captured in a fascinating new show by German painter Susanne Husemann.

Husemann has been living in Pakistan since the last three years and exhibiting for the third time in this show that opened in Islamabad on Sunday at the Nomad Gallery.

The show features 30 of her paintings which depict pain, joy, life and death.

It has been organised to mark the International Women’s Day, celebrated on March 8 each year.

Most visitors were pleasantly surprised to see a fresh perspective in her paintings which has evolved from an almost purely European one to reflecting more local themes.

Kay Schwendinger, who regularly visits art exhibitions in the city, said: “Some of the works are extremely European regardless of the motif, yet some work is very local. It demonstrates the artist’s versatility and adaptation. Her strength in these works is how she has successfully captured intense emotions that are not easy to draw.”

Nageen Hyat, the curator of the show, said it is exciting to see all that Husemann has absorbed in the three years that she has been in Pakistan.

“Growing from a European vocabulary the work shows transformation into something very regional and local,” said Nageen Hyat.

According to Susanne Huseman, some of the works are heavy in symbolism – dead birds, a child hugging a dangerous bear and armed women.

“I have been moved by the culture in this part of the world. Even in Germany the Islamic culture is noticeable. So the dancing dervishes that I have painted hold special importance for me,” said Susanne Husemann.

The dancing dervishes’ series is smooth and musical.

The dancers seem in touch with a higher being, which the artist described as positive Islamic symbol. Susanne Husemann explained how she would play Sufi music while she painted the dancing dervishes to get the expressions right.

“I hope I have been able to do justice to my subject,” she said, laughing.

Appreciating the way the artist has put life in the images, Michele Galopin said: “Amazing talent and outstanding artistry are the first words that come to my mind. The movement in the robes is beautiful.”

Michele Galopin said that she had seen the artist’s works before and it was interesting to see how her style was evolving.

The paintings have been finished in acrylic on canvas while some are in oil and water colours.

“Acrylic is much easier to work with and it’s easy to keep mixing layers because it dries quickly. Oil is slow and takes longer to dry,” the artist said. The show will run till March 16.c

Published in Dawn March 9th , 2015

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