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All about creative proximity

December 19, 2018


Some of the artworks on display at the exhibition.—White Star
Some of the artworks on display at the exhibition.—White Star

KARACHI: It is interesting how the Chawkandi Art Gallery has explained a two-person exhibition titled Proximity that commenced on Thursday: the idea of impromptu conversations that occur when two diverse bodies of work come together. They are indeed two diverse bodies, and there is indeed a conversation going on between them. What kind of conversation? That’s the question. Well, the answer could be: the kind of conversation that creates proximity between two opposite forces.

Danish Ahmed, according to his bio, is a visual artist and an academic. On the other hand, Shazia Qureshi has a degree in printmaking and a master’s in philosophy. Now this is enough to generate interest in the viewer about the artworks on display, because it might provide the key to their creative selves.

Danish’s work gives off the vibe that nothing matters to the artist more than a visually enhanced moment. The moment that we are talking of here relates to life, either at a point of growth or stasis. His ‘Cuboid’ series (charcoal and colour pencil on paper/canvas) signifies that particular juncture where life acquires meaning –– or rendered meaningless –– by the way we treat nature. The shape of the cube enables space and mass in the frame become prominent, but the pull that space and mass have (or don’t) mainly comes from the viewer’s interpretation of the artworks.

Shazia is an artist who doesn’t like to ask straightforward questions, and the result is startling. There’s an unmistakable energy to her work. Her ink-on-paper exhibits contain flowing images that despite having a melancholic feel allow the viewer to rejoice in her art. Her educational background is enough to suggest that it is the ‘search of truth’ that she has focused on. The truth, however, is not dealt as a metaphysical reality. Rather, it pertains to the society that she comes from. Hence, art lovers are treated to some really eye-catching series such as ‘Mystery of emancipation’ and ‘Piercing pain’.

The exhibition, curated by Roohi S. Ahmed, concludes on Dec 23.

Published in Dawn, December 19th, 2018