News Column

Revealing the hidden beauty

June 22, 2014



An artist of metaphors Wardah Naeem Bukhari has shown her creative instinct in her recent solo show held at Hamail Art Gallery of Lahore, on June 16. Almost all of her paintings were marked by traditional symbols which she has incorporated beautifully in her artworks.

Taking the inspiration from the Pattoli Craft (basically decorated thread work which is usually used to tie necklaces and Parrandas) Bukhari has enormously manipulated this element in different ways in her art. The illusion of dramatic inter-play of yarns woven around the parts of human anatomy is intriguing for the viewer.

Another design element Naqashi has also been frequently used in her paintings. Halo symbol is used metaphorically to show the content of spirituality.

Bukhari has started her artistic journey from Multan College of Arts, Bahauddin Zakriya University and received Bachelor degree in Visual Communication Design in 2010. She completed her MA (Honors) in Visual Arts from premier institute of Pakistan National College of Arts Lahore, in 2012 and now pursuing her PhD in Art History from University College of Art & Design Lahore, University of the Punjab.

Her oeuvres are the symbolic reflections of human anatomy; woven beautifully the inside and outside parts of body which are juxtaposed in such a way that they intrigue the senses of viewer. It seems that she is obsessed with the hidden phenomena of human body; created the harmonious compositions by joining together different segments of internal organs and external body parts.

Different patterns of pattoli has been utilized with the interior organs which have been transformed beautifully and expressing the artist’s personal notions of beauty. Bukhari has tried to reveal the hidden beauty of inside world of God’s best creature. In her painting “Man with Jewels” this transformation can be observed in which she has replaced the anatomy of the neck with the jewellery gold beads used in Panch Lada, creating the sense of amusement. Bukhari has also expressed the use of jewellery in broad terms; jewellery is not only limited to females but it is also associated with males as well from primitive times.

In her another painting ‘Beyond’ Bukhari has painted her own figure surrounded by the traditional Naqashi pattern in miniature style. Here she has deliberately and mysteriously represented the experience of her inner soul.

Bukhari’s imagery is the blend of physical existence and philosophical existence. According to her best image can only be made when these two amalgamate with each other. She mostly paints her own figure

. For her the ‘Soul’ is subjective reality and to objectify this reality she needs to paint figures. Bukhari’s work fascinates and intrigues us with its ‘private fragments of autobiography’ being brought into the public arena. In most of her paintings she narrates her ‘phenomenon of beauty’ and fragments of life which are deeply woven with each other. We are enforced to observe the body language of the figures she depicts.

Using the practice of South Asian miniature painting as her artistic base, often use bold and bright colour palette, Bukhari has developed a distinctive technique. Her most of the paintings are done in watercolour on paper; her paintings have multiple layers of colour, starting with a pencil under-drawing she precedes with miniature brush. Another striking element is the repeated and rhythmic use of lines like yarns which are always traveling on the surface towards different roots.

The artist has successfully developed her signature style by joining together her subjective and objective concerns. As Stephen Chow said “A creation needs not only subjectivity, but also objectivity”.

The writer is a lecturer at Department of Art & Design of Hazara University Mansehra.


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Source: Nation (Pakistan)


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