ISLAMABAD: Light gives art life. It directs the gaze and is the main tool of an artist while he or she creates.

This was pointed out by organisers of an exhibition titled Lumieres arranged at the Pakistan National Council of Arts (PNCA). The theme of the show brought attention to the importance of light for art. Works made by six female artists identified as Marium Agha, Farida Batool and Risham Syed from Pakistan, Safaa Eruass from Morocco, Christine Ferrer and Genevieve Gleize from France have been put on display.

Supported by the French Embassy in Pakistan and PNCA, the project was conceptualised over a year ago amid various lockdowns due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Christine Ferrer’s installation showed the connection between the human body and the mind.

Farida Batool is an independent artist who explores Pakistan’s political upheavals and tumultuous history through her work. She used virtual reality (VR) to transport the viewer inside another space that was a mixture of visuals.

Trained in visual communication at the École Supérieure d’art d’Épinal, Genevieve Glieze, said, “Time is at the heart of my research as a photographer, especially in the almost obsessive exploration of neglected universes. If it is true that absence is one of my main subjects and that photography consists in capturing the fleeting, that a lens seizes a place, an object, a being with acuity, I wish that my photography contributes to animate the seized moments in their paradoxical immobility, faithful at the same time to their portion of second and to the parts of real and imaginary stories which it conveys”.

Marium Agha said her impressions were a result of words.

Risham Syed collected ordinary images to tell stories in her work. “These for me are symbols, symbolic of the present times. I turn these symbols into paintings, which is a deliberate act of participation. Now this ‘the painting’ I juxtapose with objects that are reminiscent of a certain time in history. Past provides a context for viewing the present. Curious objects, symbols of class, power, taste, knowledge and advancement in an ordinary arrangement mimic the museum curio cabinets creating historic fictional narratives,” she said.

Based in Morocco, Safaa Erruas said the white in her work symbolises absence, immateriality, transparency, fragility and even the possible. Her work, both delicate and powerful, is characterised by the conjunction of fine and sharp materials including fabrics, cotton, paper, gauze, pearls, needles, glass and razor blades. She used the absence of colour to attract attention and communicate with the viewer.

The exhibition shall be on display and open for public viewing till Dec 20.

Published in Dawn, December 10th, 2021

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