The number 5

14 Nov 2020

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Some of the artworks put up in the exhibition.—White Star
Some of the artworks put up in the exhibition.—White Star

KARACHI: If you believe in numerology, then you’d know the number five indicates energy. But it also requires a balance between mind and soul to channelise that energy. One doesn’t know whether the organisers of an exhibition titled The sum of five that’s under way at the Full Circle Gallery entertained this thought when they came up with the idea for the show. What one does know is that it’s a pretty impressive display.

As can be gauged from the rubric, there are five participating artists whose two dozen artworks are on view. They are: Amir Raza, Anas Abro, Ana Ali, Sheheryar Akber and Zoila Solomon. Perhaps one needs to analyse the sum of all of their paintings in order to understand what the drift of their message is. But that would be unjust to all of them because creating art, essentially, is a lonely activity. However, there has to be a thread connecting all of them under one roof. Well, if one must, that thread is ‘life’ in the most contemporary sense.

In the last couple of years, especially this year, so much has changed in the world (and one is not talking about the collective grief that societies have to bear in terms of health hazards and economic downturn) that individuals have begun to revisit ideas and concepts that they once thought would help them pull through life. The artists at the gallery interpret stories and characters, without losing connection with the past, by virtue of some striking colour schemes and sumptuous brushstrokes.

Their topics range from anxiety to migration and from serendipity to violence. And it’s all done with a variety of media — oil on canvas, graphite on paper, digital print and gouache on archival paper, collage on vasli etc). So the sum total of the effort could be: you get the whole gamut of emotions … with a fair degree of contemporariness.

The exhibition concludes on Nov 15.

Published in Dawn, November 14th, 2020