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‘Time for Africa’ leads women artists’ innovative art at display

ISLAMABAD: A group of eight female artists have put on display their innovative techniques of various forms of visual art at Jharoka Art Gallery. Zahra Kazmi, Tayyiba Aziz, Firdous Butt, Riffat Aara Baig, Shahnaz Akram, Samina Fasil, Shehila Anjum and Mamoona Humayn have exhibited a collection of around 32 paintings that deal with different aspects of women’s life.

The show, entitled ‘Contemporary Paintings’, focuses on feminine imagery that explores emotions, feelings and role of women in various stages of life through different mediums. Firdous Butt has shown human figure in her work with eye-catching hues of her pallet while Shahnaz Akram’s display captures the architecture of Mughal historical buildings, archways and doors of great buildings as her main interest.

Zahra Kazmi, one of the fine artists, has taken the subject of masks as she feels that every human being in the world has two faces and everyone is wearing a mask to show the world. According to Zahra Kazmi, “Art is a manifestation of emotions and emotion is a language which all may understand. I have been oblivious to all else while painting and have sought my reward by expressing emotions through art. My strong emotional ties with Kenya inspired me to study the history and tradition of masks in Africa.”

Africa has a long-standing culture of storytelling and masks are an integral part of their narrations. Masks are used as symbols at various ceremonies and are associated with honouring ancestors, mythological beings, animals, good and evil, feminine beauty and celebrating life in general. “My recent visit to my birthplace inspired my current series of five paintings, entitled ‘Time for Africa’. Yet again I came to realise that Africans, despite adversities, have a passion for life, colour, music and dance. They live life to the fullest and try to make the most of what time has to offer. I have painted masks in bright colours, depicting the zest Africans have for life and continue my spiritual journeys for sharing my impressions through paintings,” she added.

All the artists have worked to explore and experiment various angles of their creation that involve abstract expressionism and symbolism through vibrant hues, bold compositions, striking colours, traditional images and dream like structures.

Riffat Ara Baig paints with the medium of etching on paper – a unique style of painting in which artist use the tools to scratch the paint to make an image. Tayyaba Aziz has displayed her series on `Thari Women’ that portrays traditional female imagery blended with colours while architectural compositions in the background of images make the work attractive.

Sahiwal-based artists Shehila Anjum and Mamoona Humayn take nature as their inspiration through beautifying landscapes. The show will continue until tomorrow (Monday).

Daily Times

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