‘The life in the light’ — Sana Dar
‘The life in the light’ — Sana Dar

With a fondness for travelling, trekking and swimming, Emaan Mahmud documents her experiences with an equally thrilling combination of colour and form. “My paintings do not portray any particular concepts,” says Mahmud. “My main aim is to unwind and relax by experimenting with different mediums, and produce something pleasant. It is the vividness of my flashbacks that gives my compositions a unique character. I suppose the canvas is the meeting point of my inner and outer worlds.”

In her painting ‘Hidden voice’, Mahmud explores the inner sanctum of the human body and its anguish. Emulating a wounded torso, this composition demonstrates the artist’s skill in achieving controlled textures. There are three distinct patterns that are discernible: craquelure, stippling and random fractals.

The artist’s liking for the sea is generously expressed in ‘Sense of awareness 2’ and ‘Sense of awareness 4’, by liberally deploying shades of blue. Executed under a systematic process, the canvases depict unusual textures and the translucence of the deep sea. The power of the layered application once again plays an important role in these compositions, which represent the artist’s passion for blue waters.


The works of Emaan Mahmud and Sana Dar showcase the diversity of abstract art


The abstract expressionism of Sana Dar takes an initiative into layering through mixed media by adding the component of stenciling and decoupage, a technique of embellishment with paper cutouts. “All my pieces have layered meanings and contexts,” says Dar. She tends to grant the viewers the liberty to experience their instinctive response when they see her work. However, with a distinct story embedded in her layered paintings, she expects the audience to be intuitively drawn deeper into the visual narratives.

“I paint anything that inspires me in life,” says Dar. “My work depicts emotions and certain overwhelming experiences. I use bold paint and delicate pen work on a single canvas. The contrast of soft and hard medium hints at confusion, insecurity and confinement.”

‘Sense of awareness 2’ — Emaan Mahmud
‘Sense of awareness 2’ — Emaan Mahmud

Her painting ‘Life in the light’ is an expression of happier moments devoid of chaotic gloom. It has colours that are exciting and with the punctuation of spangles and sequins, the composition starts to emulate a closely-knit family environment. In ‘Pinocchio and the planter’, Dar has used cutouts at the top and the bottom. The white-on-white treatment on the upper half indicates truth, which trickles down towards the bottom of the painting, which is darker and metaphorically a lie.

‘The Fractal Nature of Things’ went on exhibit at the Full Circle Gallery, Karachi, on September 30th and will remain open until October 21st, 2016

Published in Dawn, Sunday Magazine, October 9th, 2016

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