A group art exhibition of four artists Caren Frank, Madiha Sikander, Fariha Haq and Mehrunisa kicked off at Ejaz Art Gallery on Friday and will continue till June 2.
As many as 20 art pieces made of plain wood, Lasani wood, miniature on books, polythene bags, garbage to make collages, are on the display in the exhibition.
Talking to Pakistan Today, curator of the exhibition Artist Mariam Hanif said the idea behind the exhibition is to celebrate the unorthodox approach towards art making. The show contemplated on how these artists have explored unusual materials and significance they held in their lives.
“This exhibition will also enquire the journey towards breaking their academically taught traditional practices and thinking step ahead without losing the essence-with innovation and uniqueness,” said Ms Hanif.
Artist Caren Frank said her work is inspired by her day to day experiences.
“I produce what I see,” she said, adding that her art brings out the extraordinary in the ordinary.
“Necessity is the mother of invention” and this is exactly why I started using this medium, she said.
“Not having enough money made me see and use objects a little differently. I would collect used drawing sheets and canvases then one day I started to create a collage with polythene and this developed into what I now call my own language of polythene,” she elaborated.
“During my time in college, I used to travel by bus, peeping out of the windows, which would most often be obstructed by the women standing and awaiting their turn to find a seat. After travelling and being pushed around by women here and there, I decided to utilise this frustration, and now it’s more like an addiction to stick with this subject matter,” she said narrating the experiences that inspired her artwork.
She said that in her upcoming artwork she will depict a religious minority i.e. Christian crowd.
“I didn’t set out to be an environmental artist or to create artwork relating to social commentary but as my portfolio developed and people started to review my work the descriptions started to emerge that I hadn’t intended but am now pleased with,” Frank added.
I think that if you have made an art piece than its interpretation should depend on the spectator, as it would mean different things to different people, she added.
Artist Madiha Sikander talking Pakistan Today that her work is primarily concerned with books and seeks to transform the book into a visual space by dissolving the demarcation between image and word, texture and text.
“I conceive the books as found objects, collecting them from old book houses, recycling go-downs or using some of my own books at times even. The existing text, scribbles, marks and images on the books fascinated me and suggest a new journey,” Sikander said.
She added that by combining them with her own vocabulary, she felt that in a way it allows her to amalgamate the past and the present.
As a result, the work is built of complex layers which address the past, the present, the social, political and personal, she elaborated, adding that an approach which I feel comes naturally, as the lines separating all these aspects is ever fading.
Artist Fareeha Haq shared that her intent is to capture certain kinds of movement in the act of transformation through my medium and tools.
“What do you have… What can I get out of you… What are you willing to give me?”
“This relationship of give and take- the constant dialogue I maintain with my surface through the act of marking, gouging and carving enables me to explore the spatial and textural possibilities that are inherent in my surface,” she added.