Scores of aficionados gathered at Alhamra on The Mall on Wednesday following the initiation of a degree show featuring works of students from the Lahore College for Women University and its affiliated colleges that include the Government College for Women in Gulberg and the Government Postgraduate College for Women in Samanabad.
LCWU student Saba Naz said her work was premised on the evolution and resolve of mankind. Naz sculpted human figures out of soap to demonstrate her idea. “I had used various materials earlier but found soap to be a novel and challenging medium,” she said. Naz said she felt it was binding on artists to keep on pushing the envelope.
Govt College Gulberg student Sobia Tariq said her thesis—Architecture Amalgamation—fused elements from contemporary and ancient architecture together. She said it represented a combination of reality with imagination. “I have etched a jharoka with modern windows in one of the images. In another, I’ve used a heritage site and covered it with posters to show what is being wreaked on our heritage. In the rest, I have played with old and contemporary motifs,” Tariq said. Kiran Shehzadi of Govt College Gulberg said her work was on curiosity. “It is something we are born with, something we always have, but something we need to polish,” she said. Shehzadi said curiosity could only be polished by satisfying it. Government Postgraduate College Samanabad student Maryam Zia said Childhood Recollection—her work—depicted things she had an affinity with in her younger years. “I have incorporated them in my work,” she said. While explaining a painting of a tree laden with candy, Zia said she had tried to relive her memories.
Amna Yaseen of the LCWU said the title of her work—My History is Your Playground—was taken from Burnt Shadows, a Kamila Shamsie novel. Yaseen said she had had the opportunity to witness scores of derelict heritage sites. She said she had observed them being renovated with cheap materials. Yaseen said she had premised her work on this to spread awareness regarding what was being done to such sites.
Areeba Kausar of Government College Gulberg, who is a Punjabi settler from Quetta, said her family had fled from the city after being informed that there was “no use of Punjabis in Balochistan.” She said she had tried to depict her city in her work and the things it was celebrated for such as the ibex, Toofaq—a traditional Baloch gun—and indigenous embroidery. Government Postgraduate College Samanabad student Anum Mushtaq said her work was on dreams. “I used different objects to depict blessings and fears that we have in our dreams. For example, cherries symbolise blessings while scorpions symbolise fear,” she said. Mushtaq said interpreting dreams had always fascinated her.
Ruhma Ghassan of the LCWU said her work was based on architectural brackets that she had used to create functional and non-functional artwork. I used Indian and English motifs that I incorporated with some of my own, she said. The exhibition will conclude on October 31.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 30th, 2015.