KARACHI: An exhibition of artworks made by intellectually challenged children to coincide with the United Nations International Day for Persons with Disabilities (Dec 3) opened at the Grandeur Art Gallery on Wednesday.
According to Saima Haq, principal of Special Children’s Educational Institute, the exhibition titled Art & Function has on display an interesting collection of furnishings upholstered with hand-painted fabric by students with special needs.
There is a decent variety of objects (chairs, trunks, couches) on which the children have made nice little designs. Helped by their teachers, they followed step by step instructions given to them to paint on the given fabric and other materials. For example, they have used crayons to make flowers on chairs. The marked feature of the floral images is that they exude innocence which one can associate only with children.
There’s also a trunk in the exhibition on which the young ones have put colourful stickers. “They know how to peel and put the stickers on. We show them or make small circles to show them where to stick them, and they follow instructions.”
Then there’s a couch which is interestingly hued. It gives off an artsy vibe and can be mistaken for something made by a professional artist. “People take art as a painstaking activity. They don’t realise that beauty is in imperfection. That’s what our children’s effort is all about,” said Ms Haq.
The children whose works are on view range from the physically disabled to those who are suffering from autism. In response to the question whether autism was treatable, she said it’s not a disease but a communication disorder. “We must understand that in order to know what they are saying, we need to adapt ourselves to come down to their level.”
The exhibition will remain open till Dec 5.
Published in Dawn, December 3rd, 2015