Pushing the boundaries

Feb 01 2019


THREE of the paintings on display at the exhibition.—White Star
THREE of the paintings on display at the exhibition.—White Star

KARACHI: Artist Natasha Shoro says that her latest body of work, which is on display at the Koel Art Gallery under the title Transcending Boundaries, is about her spiritual journey in life. She lives in the US and this is her first solo show after quite a few years.

Before we shed light on her artworks, which are delightful by the way, let’s briefly try and understand what the word ‘spiritual’ means because these days artists use it frequently — sometimes just like that. The essence of the word is ‘spirit’ which is diametrically opposed to the physical aspect of life. This also suggests that materiality does not have any role to play as far as the spiritual side of existence is concerned. Watching Shoro’s works would make the viewer realise that the above-mentioned definition is right.

Why? Answer: Shoro’s artworks, done on canvas and paper, are marked by colours and strokes that have a euphoric touch to them. This kind of euphoria is often witnessed in creative pursuits that are undertaken with a great deal of spontaneity, without a preset intent. And when that happens, the body takes a back seat, and what matters is the voice that comes out of one’s soul.

The most cogent example of this observation is an exhibit called ‘Dive’ (mixed media on canvas). It seems that colours are in a trance here. Are they? There is another possibility: they are going haywire because of something that has deeply affected the artist. Either way, the lost-in-a-quest kind of a feeling signifies that the artist has abandoned the worldliness of things for a higher aim. The aim could be the coming-together of different belief systems (for an individual or a group), in which case it is a noble endeavour for which Shoro should be encouraged.

The exhibition concludes on Feb 7.

Published in Dawn, February 1st, 2019