PESHAWAR: Senior artist Ali Sajid is out to capture images of the walled city of Peshawar with a new perspective and creative angle as his recent project to explore ancient sites around the city got the attention of scores of art lovers on social media.

He shared with Dawn some main points of his future project and said Peshawarites would soon witness a “befitting” art exhibition, where noted artists from other cities would also be invited to display their artworks.

“Walled city of Peshawar, the oldest in the region, offers countless sites showcasing its originality, diversity and fusion of old and modern city life. Every single corner of the city will tell you a different story and I want to explore its beauty and charm and show it to the world,” he said.

Mr Sajid said he went out in the city to gather some images for his canvas and came across a wonderful view of an old street that believed to have been exciting since the early 18th century and such sites in and around Peshawar were countless and required to be documented and preserved through the eyes of an artist.

He said Peshawar cityscape carried a dynamic and diversifying image where tangible and intangible culture was still alive and altogether different from other cityscapes of the country where people mostly were painted wearing pants and shirts but human figures in Peshawar city could still be seen moving around in salwar-kameez with traditional headgear.

“In my recent image, I have highlighted an old street known as Peepal Mandi with a view from Mohallah Khudadad, which is the birthplace of Bollywood star Dilip Kumar. I diffused the surrounding buildings and retained the display of colourful buntings overhead as a mark of Eid Meladun Nabi festivity,” he said.

The artist said painting old architectural wonders of cityscapes helped people understand how local city dwellers used to live together despite different languages, beliefs and cultures that spoke volume of their tolerance, mutual love and respect.

“I wish young artists come up with their innovative methods and vision and paint Peshawar cityscapes to bring out its beauty that might attract world visitors and see it with a new creative angle,” he said.

Mr Sajid said there was no dearth of creative artists to do the job.

Published in Dawn, October 9th, 2023

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