ISLAMABAD: A group exhibition titled ‘9 narratives’ opened at Gallery6 on Tuesday. The display features imminent artists including Abrar Ahmed, Hajra Mansoor, Akbar Hafeez, Irshad Salim, Arjumand Faisel, Mughees Riaz, AS Rind, Shehla Rafi and Zakir Baloch.
As the title suggests, the exhibition features diverse work including abstract, portraits and paintings inspired by nature. The work is also very diverse in terms of the medium, with some paintings using oil on canvas, oil on board and acrylic on canvas while others using pen, ink and oil pastels on paper, and mix medium on board.
Arjumand Faisel, curator of Gallery 6 told The Express Tribune that he is always on lookout for exception and unique work. “Recently, I saw works of some brilliant artists and picked up these pieces for an exhibition that shows unique and diverse work. I believe the gallery has brought together artists with different and wide interpretations for instance Shahla Rafi who is one of the finest artist’s in Pakistan. Her work is so fine and intricate that it just leaves the viewer speechless. Irshad Salim exclusively painted some pieces for the gallery, inspired by his trip back home and titled them homecoming,” he said while speaking about the work and the artists.
Rafi, a self-taught artist, said that she finds her inspiration in nature. “I have always been attracted by the nature and that is precisely what inspires my work too. My paintings, which are oil on board, feature a palette of colours as I do not like to restrict myself to a certain theme of colours,” she said.
She also mentioned that most of her work is inspired by nature, which in a way has become her signature style. What was rather different and stunning about Shahla’s work was the fact that it was so fine that it hardly looked like paint. It felt like its pen on paper due to its fineness and intricacy.
A rather unique aspect of the exhibition was paintings by Faisel. He mentioned that sex workers in Pakistan have inspired these paintings. “I was once given a project to research on sex workers, who their clients are and how the entire business is operated. That is where I learnt that these women are considered ‘mal’ (commodity) by those who sell them,” he said.
Among other artists on exhibit, Rind and Mansoor’s work deserves to be mentioned for idea, use of colours and intricacy. The artists were not present at the launch but their work seemed to attract guests.
The exhibition will continue till October 14.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 7th, 2015.