The pentagonal treat

Published November 23, 2023
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: In eastern literature, the mukhammas is a poem that contains five-line stanzas. In the first stanza, each line ends with the same rhyming word. The following stanzas have different rhyming words except their fifth lines which need to follow the rhyme pattern of the opening stanza. A group show titled Mukhammas, which concluded on Wednesday, at the Chawkandi Art Gallery is not about poetry… but it is pretty poetic.

The title refers to the ‘five’ participating artists who have put on display a delectable body of work for art lovers.

The gallery’s explanation of the show is that it points to the five-sided pentagon, a number you arrive at when you add the dimensions of the exhibition. The artists [Raheela Abro, Sheema Khan, Samar Zeeshan, S M Raza and Mahreen Zuberi] explore the two-dimensional and the three-dimensional by presenting two kinds of work.

This type of introduction can conjure in the viewer’s mind a single theme or some sort of an idea which threads through the entire display. Here, the noteworthy thing is that the artists cover a wide variety of subjects by using eclectic techniques. The word ‘eclectic’ is not generally used for technique. But the way Abro, Khan, Zeeshan, Raza and Zuberi have employed their chosen media to put their innermost feelings across is, in a manner of speaking, art unto itself.

To be specific, oil and acrylic on SIM cards, enamel on metal object, acrylic gouache on wasli, oil with glow in the dark cutouts mixed medium and gouache, watercolour and pencil on wasli are brought into play to highlight fragmented aspects of history, the metaphorical forms of plants and the effects that the memories of certain special landscapes have on creative souls. This means that both the temporal and spiritual facets of man are underlined through aesthetic personal visions.

A visual treat!

Published in Dawn, November 23rd, 2023

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