LAHORE: Three painters who graduated from the Punjab University’s College of Art and Design in the 1980s got reunited to hold a group exhibition of their artworks.
The exhibition, titled The Trio Reconnecting: 80 to 87, is currently happening at the Anna Molka Gallery of their alma mater and it is showing the paintings by Lubna Jehangir, Zarar Haider Babary and Geytee Ara Aslam.
“In the title, 80 to 87 symbolises the time we spent together at the PU as classmates. We were together at the College of Art and Design from 1980 till 1987. It was the military dictatorship of Gen Ziaul Haq and things were pretty tough for artists and art students. Our session was supposed to end in 1985 but it got prolonged to 1987. There was a year when exams did not happen in the BFA. The master’s programme was also delayed,” says Lubna while talking to Dawn on the opening of the exhibition.
She has put some of her new works on display while there are some old paintings too.
“My new works focus on the buildings, including historical monuments, of Lahore. There are six such paintings in this exhibition. This is the first time that I painted this subject.”
Lubna’s paintings on historical subjects include those inspired by Masjid Wazir Khan, Sunehri Masjid and Shalamar Gardens.
Lubna says some other new works include the black and white works besides her signature gouache style. She has 20 paintings being exhibited.
Babary is the second painter who is a part of the exhibition. He comes from Koocha Musaweraan of the Walled City also known as Androon Lahore. He said he has traced his whole life in art as the paintings in the show come from his student life till his recent works. He says he aimed at celebrating life through his works as except for a couple of paintings all others show happy and positive emotions. There is a painting called Vasl in blue and another Shabab.
Babary has learnt classical dance which shows in the flow of lines that trace some of the works on display.
“Most of the artworks being shown here were done indoors based on whatever I was feeling at a certain point of time. I get influenced by what I see and observe around me,” he says.
Geytee Ara Aslam is the third painter of the exhibition. After graduating from the PU, she has kept teaching at Islamabad College for Girls for 32 years and stayed away from the art scene while working as a teacher. After her retirement, she got back to painting regularly and her four works on display were produced in the last couple of months.
“After my retirement, I first started making pottery but faced some technical issues in the ‘firing process’. Then I thought painting was better for me because I could manage to complete the whole process on my own, according to my own convenience.”
Geytee’s mother passed away and she found the art of painting very therapeutic. Her works have light and darkness as the main element.
“The house I live in Islamabad has this play of light and shade from the sunrise to sunset. All my paintings have this play as their theme,” she says. Her series in the exhibition that has prominent bold colours has been titled “Sensory Overload”.
The exhibition would continue till Sept 25.
Published in Dawn, September 20th, 2023