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‘Glory of past’ goes on display at NAG

July 10, 2012

ISLAMABAD, July 10: Her interest in heritage is tremendous and preserved in the medium of timeless beauty - clay.

The sad story of our architectural heritage has driven Horeen Amjad to a frenzy with which she has worked tirelessly to produce these wonderful three dimensional replicas on display at the National Art Gallery.

As many as 45 large ceramic impressions, in solid wooden frames, hang on the spacious gallery No 6 representing the surprising and realistic depth and breadth of ancient tombs, palaces, mosques and shrines.

When the display titled Glory of Past opened on Tuesday evening, visitors were surprised at the dexterity of the works.

“It’s almost as if one is looking outside a window,” said an art student visiting the show.

The 3D impressions were hand built ceramics without dyes to avoid giving the works commercial appearances.

The artist explained on the opening day how she had poured in her feelings when she derived the shapes and created the designs.

“It makes me very sad how our cultural heritage is so badly neglected, looted, plundered and vandalised. Not long ago in Lahore, it broke my heart that wherever little preservation efforts were being made in the fort, they were all wrong,” said Horeen Amjad, explaining how everything was being destroyed.

She chose ceramics because of the fun and challenge to work with it. The fine arts student from the Arts Department, College of Home Economics, Lahore, visited the locations for inspiration, drew sketches before transferring her drawings on to the clay.

“It took me a year to work on all the works. I went from the Quaid-i-Azam Library to Punjab Public Library to the National College of the Arts to get the facts right before putting it all down in the brochure,” the artist said, explaining how the ceramics included replicas of a corridor of Jahangir’s tomb, Shahdara, Lahore Fort, terrace of Shalimar Gardens, façade of the Wazir Khan Mosque and the Anarkali’s tomb besides several other perspectives of these historical places.

She lamented how some of these historical structures had been converted into offices such as Anarkali’s Tomb or the Wazir Khan’s Baradari while most were inaccessible to common man.

The collection is enriched not just with the young artist’s descriptions and discussions with visitors on the effort put in but also by the colourful brochure with photographs of the images on display accompanied with their brief historical and unique backgrounds. The display will run for three days.