Exploring emotional subtleties in shades of black


KARACHI – “My paintings are my mental images of the conversations we live through, the words and thoughts we share, the layers and nuances that we navigate in our interaction with others, the complexity and shadows that we create, how we cloak and clothe our vulnerabilities through our ability to twist and drape verbal expression,” says Aisha Darr.
Darr, a brilliant artist who was awarded the Elizabeth Sibley Stebbins Art Prize for Excellence in Art, is holding an exhibition of her works titled ‘Shades of Black’ at the VM Art Gallery until January 22.
“The genre of the ball pen comes through its inevitable presence in and around our existence. And yet we underestimate its true potential. The ballpoint pen has been associated too long with the realm of ‘black and white’, the emphasis of the written word on paper; its ability to explore emotional subtleties in ‘shades of black’ has been overlooked,” she says.
She explains that the simple ballpoint gives evidence to our days and hours; in the palm of our hand, it feels the very tremors of all our well-guarded emotions. The sensuous quality that is there in the flow of the ink pervades our unlikely and yet momentous existence.
“Like the stroke of the ball pen we make, we paint a world around us, we move in circular motions in and out of ourselves and the lives and thoughts of others, sometimes striving and yearning and sometimes achieving that effervescent moment’s fulfilment,” she adds.
Darr was trained at the Hobart and William Smith Colleges in New York and she received her Masters degree in Comparative and International Education from the University of Oxford.
She is currently a Coordinator and Associate Professor of Liberal Arts Programme at the Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture.
‘Shades of Black’ is her first solo exhibition that is being curated by Riffat Alvi.
Photos courtesy VM Art Gallery