KARACHI: The word ‘narrative’ is often translated as bayaniah in Urdu carrying political connotations. It does not have to be the case in field of art where there is no restriction on subject matter.
In art, narrative is to do with the way a story, an idea, an image or a moment is interpreted in order for it to reach the viewer with as much purity of intention and thought as its creator made it with.
An exhibition, titled Narratives of Peace, Love and Tolerance that recently concluded at the Chawkandi Art Gallery, was a fine example of the variety that artists produced for art lovers to absorb and learn from. But this exhibition was special for one more reason: it celebrated the life of, and paid homage to, one of Pakistan’s finest artists, the late Rabia Zuberi.
The curator of the show, Romila Kareem, explains, “This exhibition is homage to Rabia Zuberi, our beloved principal who always appreciated and gave support to our printmaking projects. She enthusiastically participated in [shows] Print Portfolio I (2012) and Print Portfolio II (2014). The theme of the exhibition is based on her well-known series of artworks which went on to become the motto of her institute — love, peace, tolerance, balance. This broader theme has been shared with the participants and they took it as a prompt for their present work.”
It is a befitting event in more ways than one because Ms Zuberi, who passed away on Jan 16 this year, was an extraordinary individual: the first woman sculptor in the country and founder of the first private art institute, Karachi School of Art.
She gave a great deal to our society both in terms of her own creative output and by producing a number of artists through the institution that she set up. And the exhibits at the Chawkandi beautifully signified the slogan that her creative philosophy revolved around.
The exhibition, which also featured works by Ms Zuberi and was participated by two-dozen renowned creative souls, concluded on Oct 13.
Published in Dawn, October 15th, 2022