ISLAMABAD: The Satrang Gallery on Friday hosted the first solo show by Lahore based artist Sana Kazi.
Ms Kazi is trained as a miniature artist and uses Mughal and Persian techniques and styles. She has a degree in visual arts from the National College of Arts (NCA).
“She makes her own pigments with unusual ingredients such as wood ash and desert sand and creates works that convey eternal love and peace, said the director of the gallery, Asma Rashid Khan.
The show was titled ‘Respite’ and is the final exhibition of 2017. Ambassador of Italy Stefano Pontecorvo inaugurated the event.
The curator of the show said Ms Kazi’s works are rooted in the Indo-Persian miniature training she received at NCA but she has also developed a unique and definite style and method. Because she works with ash, sand and fine dry pigments, Sana Kazi’s paintings are textured and multi-layered.
The figures, often portrayed in vibrant tones with a translucent quality, rise out of the wasli paper on which they are depicted and are separated from the plainer background.
The subject matter has been inspired by the artist’s own faith and by the stories she heard as a child of epic heroes in search of truth and righteousness.
This series has been particularly inspired by the Hamzanama which traces the exploits of the prophet’s uncle, Hamza and the Shahnameh, an epic poem by Firdousi.
“I saw her works a few years ago and they were mind blowing then. Her impressions are mind blowing today as well. The scale of the images is incredible and makes the viewer feel smaller. The paintings have an element of spirituality,” said Anjum Alix Noon, an artist who was attending the exhibition.
British Deputy High Commissioner Richard Crowder was fascinated by what he called the fusion of Asian and Western impressions.
“It is exciting to see contemporary Pakistani art that has a great mix of style and creativity. I personally like the precision and the fine lines in some of the images,” he said.
Asian Study Group coordinator Michele Galopin said she could also see a hint of western influence. “Some of the faces in her works remind me of British figurative artist Lucien Freud. The style seems similar.
But I also like the refinement and the detail in her images and use of sand, wood, and ashes, and all these combined make all her work spectacular,” she said.
Sana Kazi told visitors how she combined five layers of paper and stretched it on wood to paint.
“I made pigments of paint from wood and brick dust, gold, copper alloy and had the sand brought in from the Cholistan desert to create a sense of association with the Earth,” she said.
According to the artist, the works are a culmination of the elements of spirituality rooted in collective memory as our history.
The show will run for a month.
Published in Dawn, December 16th, 2017