The unseen element

Published November 27, 2022
Some of the artworks on display at the exhibition.—Fahim Siddiqi / White Star
Some of the artworks on display at the exhibition.—Fahim Siddiqi / White Star

KARACHI: These days not many artists employ nature in its pristine form as a veritable source of inspiration. Reason: urbanity and political hoopla that constantly keep are attention focused on man-made things. Nothing wrong with that, too; after all, shying away from the realities of the contemporary world may not enable us to get the wisdom and solace that we seek in life.

Artist Talha Rathore is a unique individual. The visual medium that she uses to investigate into both the personal and the societal have natural progression as one of its essential components. Her latest exhibition titled Shades of Tranquility that can be seen at the Chawkandi Art Gallery is yet another testimony to it.

Here’s a slice of the artist’s engaging thoughts on her creative exercise.

“The new body of work is a celebration of growth and evolution, the vibrant unseen dance of life. Tree forms and organic shapes are an important part of my work. Biological forms are composed to tell stories of identity, survival, growth, change and contentment. Skewed attitude towards bacteria and viruses, usually perceived harmful with their benefits overlooked, also depict the prevailing sociopolitical climate.

“The unicellular microorganisms that I use represent a feeling of being constantly under scrutiny. These remain major concerns for me along with the search for a language to explore identity,” she states.

Rathore seems to have bared her soul here. But there’s also something that’s not been revealed and left to the viewer’s imagination to construe.

For example, the stories that she’s telling through her artworks marked with beauty and finesse are not hitherto untold. It’s the way we interpret them that she wants us to revisit. The artist, for instance, through the series ‘Exuberance’ (gouache, tea stain and archival pen on wasli paper) manages to juxtapose melancholy with cheerfulness — what she calls the unseen dance of life. And that’s exactly where her art hits the viewer with renewed awareness of their surroundings. Great stuff.

The exhibition concludes on Monday.

Published in Dawn, November 27th, 2022

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