The sound of silence

Published September 4, 2022
Some of the artworks displayed at the exhibition.—Fahim Siddiqi / White Star
Some of the artworks displayed at the exhibition.—Fahim Siddiqi / White Star

KARACHI: Nothing is more reassuring to see a young person deservedly climbing the ladder of success in the creative domain. S M Raza is one of them. His latest exhibition of artworks titled An Ode to Silence at the Art Chowk Gallery is another evidence of his continuing development as a painter. To boot, the subject that he has chosen this time around, silence, gives away the sensitivity that he carries within.

The exhibits that Raza has put on display are to do with the artist’s past.

He says, “The new body of work is partially inspired by my teenage years’ memories of our old house and surroundings, the days when I had all the time in the world and no worries at all. After returning from school every day I used to sit in my backyard where we had a big jujube tree listening to birds chirping, taking care of chickens and pigeons. I didn’t have much to do at that time so my duty was to feed them and build their houses using wooden planks and bricks. On sunny days I observed shadows.

“Once the sun was down I would go out for a walk with a friend… Observing the sky changing its colours from orange to purple to deep blue and finally black. Sometimes the moon would appear in the dark and other day’s clouds floating like cotton balls in the dark sky,” he adds.

This description of the bygone days seeps into his oil on canvas paintings poetically. For example, ‘A beautiful despair’ oxymoronically conjures an image that highlights an aesthetic value of life which stems from sadness – without compromising on the intangibility of sorrow.

Another piece that merits mention is ‘Full moon from the car parking’. The moon, as is common knowledge, signifies the rhythm of time, a recurring theme in Raza’s works.

His strokes are gentle and the colours that he uses have diction of their own. Most of all, it is his solid lines that put across his ideas with visual ease… allowing silence to speak.

The exhibition concludes on Sept 10.

Published in Dawn, September 4th, 2022

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