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Impressions of a foreign land

January 11, 2013

The Many Cities I Have Known And Travelled To.

KARACHI:  Some of us take globetrotting as part of leisure activities; some as adventure to discover land anew; and some take it a tad more seriously and turn it into art.

It is the third group of people who deserve more attention than the preceding two (not that they don’t merit it). This is because no exploration or hobby can reflect life the way art does. The symbolism depicting travails as well as moments of mirth, the colours signifying the ambiance of the place visited and the lines that define the contours of a location have no substitute.

Artist Soraya Sikander should be commended for putting her artworks on display at an exhibition titled ‘In, At and Around’, which opened at the Unicorn Gallery on Thursday, giving her impressions of a foreign land.

King’s Cross Hotel

Anyone who has been to Hampstead (acrylic on canvas) will know that the area is a pretty upscale one and recognised for its literary and artistic events. Ms Sikander acknowledges that but at the same time looks deep into it. There is a touch of romance in her work, which may have stemmed out of downheartedness. She treats ‘Urban Landscape’ more or less in the same manner; however, the overall feel is different and has urban resonance.

With ‘Battersea’ (oil on canvas), she shows the conflicting elements of the locality without losing out on its buoyant appeal. The shades of blue keep the visuals lively and city-like.

This reviewer’s favourite piece is King’s Cross Hotel (acrylic on paper). It is the freedom of expression with which the artist has drawn the image of a place that is quite impressive.

The Georgian vibe is there. She has imparted semi-abstraction to it which is pleasing to the eyes. The image is open to interpretation but not the creativity employed to build that picture. There is noteworthy maturity in the artist’s work that will definitely help her go places, literally and figuratively.

The exhibition will continue until Jan 17.