IVS Faculty Show / 4: Creative and chaotic

KARACHI: What happens when you get the creation of artistic brains under one roof? Either sheer creativity or utter chaos!

This was the case at the Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture’s (IVSAA) Faculty Show / 4, where there were more artists on the show than the number of good pieces. For starters, 96 pieces were on display, some which showed reasonable artistic maturity while others not more than half-baked ideas.

Shenaz Ismail’s photos of ‘Shigar Fort’ capture the sunlit interiors of the much-renovated Shigar Fort in Baltistan. Fit for a tourism photo catalogue, the fort series is good architectural interior photography, although, not many present at the exhibit were aware of what Shigar Fort is or its cultural and historical importance.

One of the most talented graduates of IVSAA, Sohail Abdullah’s two digital prints from his Open series were on display. A print of sequined silver Mary Janes titled ‘Ruby Red’ made an enticing print as Mahmood Ali Nanjiani, an elderly visitor to the exhibit, seemed struck by this experimentation and said, “The simple, no fuss prints are simply eye-catching, especially the Ruby Red shoes with silver sequins, this is my favourite piece.”

‘Winged Thoughts,’ Abdul Jabbar Gul’s metal and wood sculpture aptly symbolized how our lives are spent with thoughts on our minds as destiny shapes our future, while Mehr Afroze’s ‘Tilai (gold),’ was a favourite with many. “It’s a conceptual piece and original to the core,” said Akhtar Hilal Zuberi.

Talking about the exhibit, Manizhe Ali, a faculty member of IVSAA, said that one of her favorite pieces at the exhibit was Asma Hashmi’s ‘Open Ended,’ a mix media creation in pale, grubby shades. “It was subtle and poetic with very fluid lines,” said Ali, as she went on to say, “Simply put, it’s an evocative piece.”

Asma Hashmi, on the other hand, said her favourite piece at the exhibit was Sadia Saleem’s untitled glazed ceramic conical vase. The blue glazed stationary cone was deceptively diabolical. “It’s a delicate piece that looks stable but the minute you touch it slightly, it spins around and you see this movement,” said Hashmi, who bought the piece.

Refined kitsch is how one would describe Wardah Saleem’s truck art inspired coat. In shocking pink with block printing embroidered floral motifs, unlike designer Maheen Khan’s tongue in cheek Gulaboo collection, Saleem’s work is restrained yet beautiful.

Rabeya Jalil’s ‘The Teaser’ and ‘Whole,’ two acrylic panels were a commentary on crass commercialism and senseless materialism and its effects on our lives. “In ‘The Teaser,’ I have show how a woman’s body is used to sell products be it a razor blade or a motorbike,” said Jalil.

Taking inspiration from the ecstatic verses of Jalaluddin Rumi, Hiba Shahbaz Lotia came up with two fantasy miniatures. Titled ‘Fana o Baqa,’ the ‘gad rang on wasli’ miniatures showed delicate looking winged women apparently contemplating life and death.

With the hype surrounding the faculty exhibit, the show has its fair share of visitors. Though the range on display impressed many, some of the serious buyers and people with a much deeper aesthetic sense felt that the show could have been better. As in the words of a regular visitor on the art scene, “Faculty Show / 4 showcases the diversity of the artists, however, it could have been much better had the focus been on quality rather than quantity.”

Leave a Comment