A celebration of creative power

Published October 6, 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: Contrary to the common man’s way of understanding life in binaries — night and day, good and bad — artists go beyond the visible. Their search for plurality of meaning and multiplicity of contexts in all sorts of subjects — morose, uplifting, dark, enlightening etc — transports them to places that, in turn, prove a rich learning experience for their audiences.

An exhibition of renowned printmaker Iram Wani’s artworks titled Limited Edition that’s under way at the Art Chowk Gallery allows the viewer to embark on a similar journey. Her craft and content combine to put up a memorable show.

Why does one claim that? Reading the statement provided by the gallery to have a sense of what’s on view will suffice: “Her visual art endeavours to find order in the chaos of the past and the remembrances and experiences of today — a chaos that is a pattern within a pattern and a pattern overlapping another. She analyses these patterns, trying to decipher them. This chaos directs her in its weird randomness towards a path where she finds her inner self repeatedly. There is a strange solidity in the whirling chaos.”

It’s a huge undertaking: solidity in the whirling chaos. Wani is able to do that because of what life seems to have thrown at her. Yes, craft matters, but what you need to say or put it out there comes from within, from the very recesses of your soul. So the artist tackles formidable topics with finesse and grace.

The formidability of those topics is underlined by the curator of the show Aasim Akhtar, “Wani has been characterised as a morbid celebrant of death. Such is not the case. She sees her art as an expression of man’s present condition and as a celebration of human creative power.”

This celebration of creative power is evident in artworks such as the ‘Annihilation’ (collagraph, graphite sketch) and ‘Serene’ (solar plate) series.

The exhibition will continue till Oct 8.

Published in Dawn, October 6th, 2022

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