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In between layers: The frozen state of mind

More than a dozen pieces by Anam Rani, Razaur Rehman and Rabia Tariq are being exhibited. PHOTOS: AYESHA MIR/EXPRESS

More than a dozen pieces by Anam Rani, Razaur Rehman and Rabia Tariq are being exhibited. PHOTOS: AYESHA MIR/EXPRESS

LAHORE: In Between Layers—a three-person show—commenced on Thursday at Taseer Art Gallery.

The exhibit features over a dozen pieces by Anam Rani, Razaur Rehman and Rabia Tariq.

“I was always interested in art…but it was my parents who really wanted someone from the family to go in this field,” Tariq said. She said she worked in layers and selected contrasting colours that depict elements such as fire and water or opposite genders. Tariq said her work tried to portray that a combination of two subjects engendered an outcome.

She said an example of this could be the union of man and woman that manifested itself in the birth of offspring.  Tariq has six mix media pieces on display at the exhibition, which happens to be her first.

Rani, who has six crystal epoxy sculptures on display, told The Express Tribune that her work depicted the frozen state of mind. She said one encountered this phenomenon in everyday life through a secondary source like television or print media. Rani said this especially held true with regard to violence.

She said this altered one’s visual vocabulary. Rani said such things had a subtle impact on one with attention being drawn to how it looked rather than the meaning behind it. “This contrast can be seen in my medium. What’s mentioned is extremely harsh and cruel but it looks beautiful. Some people approach me to inquire about the material I use rather than asking me what my work is about,” she said.

Commenting on his eight illustrations on display, Rehman said his work was a continuation of his thesis on Jalaluddin Rumi. “After submitting my thesis, I felt that it was incomplete. Therefore, I decided to make these mix media pieces,” he said. Rehman said he found the poet’s work so intriguing that he felt it would never lose its essence even if he devoted his entire life to it.

“All of these works are based on his poetry. Rumi talks about how the human soul wafted down to earth after separating from the Almighty. It wants to reunite with its maker. Therefore, the dilemma it finds itself mired in and the malaise it experiences can be understood,” he said.

Gallery proprietor Sanam Taseer said Rani’s work created a surreal three-dimensional landscape frozen in time. She said Tariq’s drawings incorporated a sculptural element through the use of pexiglass. She said her use of blocks of colours and shapes grounded her airy, disembodied etchings.

Taseer said this culminated in a medley of form and space, of the real and the ephemeral. She said Rehman’s work was replete with spectacular images of human, spiritual and animal forms. Taseer said his work was premised on different layers. This, she said, seemed to echo varying levels of existence that rendered it a symbolic feel.

The exhibit, which is being curated by Haider Ali Jan, will conclude on October 12.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 3rd, 2015.

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