The fine lines in art

Published September 21, 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: To commemorate the 75th year of Pakistan’s inception, platinum jubilee as they say, the Chawkandi Art Gallery has organised a beautifully curated exhibition titled Lines of Inquiry.

Now since it’s been arranged for a special occasion, a lot of hard work (read: heart work) has gone into putting together this group show regarding its content. The curator, Nusrat Khawaja, has kept things understandably uncomplicated but with a message.

We have often read and uttered the phrase ‘between the lines’. It implies that what’s being said has more meaning than the used words intend to convey. The name of the exhibition Lines of Inquiry may not suggest that, but for sure tries to achieve beyond what’s being visually presented in the form of a display.

On the significance of the art of drawing, Nusrat writes with poetic precision, “We are born into a blur of needs and sensations. As infants, we are primal, dependent beings who need a caregiver to support our survival. We recognise our mothers from the sound of their voice and their smell. Our vision is near-sighted; distances are not sharply defined. This changes rapidly as we grow. As our brains mature, inchoate shapes acquire form and definition. Our ability to differentiate sharpens as blurry forms acquire detail and definition. This is the brain learning to draw, and it will pass on this cerebral ability from the eye to the hand.”

This transference from eye to hand is exactly what the viewer sees in the shape of striking artworks made by more than a dozen eminent artists. To boot, the range of ideas expressed through the vitality of lines — philosophical musings, architectural communications, personal longings etc — vindicates the view that it is the art of drawing that “bears eternal relevance”.

The creative souls, whose works were on display at the recently concluding exhibition, are: Adeel Uz Zafar, Akram Dost Baloch, Ayesha Quraishi, Farazeh Syed, Hamama Tul Bushra, Irfan Gul Dahri, Khadim Ali, Laila Rahman, Meher Afroz, Muhammad Ali Talpur, Muhammad Zeeshan, Munawar Ali Syed, R M Naeem, Rasheed Araeen, Ruby Chishti and Unver Shafi Khan.

Published in Dawn, September 21st, 2022

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