Artist depicts her gauche adjustment to society’s gridlock system
By Fawad Ali Shah
KARACHI: The inhabitants of the 21st century are observing “forced gridlocks”, especially those living in the third world countries: a major chunk of the youth feels they cannot do anything on their own; politicians feel there is no way out of the political mayhem; and economists are worried about the recession that has engulfed their minds for quite some time.
If we keenly observe the Pakistani society, it seems as if some hidden force has created a gridlock: roads are jammed; businessmen are without any profit; and women without empowerment can see no way out.
Sophiya Khwaja, an artist from Islamabad, had been observing these gridlocks for the last two years in the society. It was her artistic sense that created turmoil in her brain; and when she could not retain the images of these gridlocks in her brain any longer, she brought forth these images on the canvas, the paintings that are the product of her thorough observation and artistic beauty.
“The term [gridlock] has been applied to situations in other fields where flow is stalled by excess demand or in which competing interests prevent any progress, such as a government, business or institution’s inability to function at a normal level due either to complex or conflicting procedures within the administrative framework or to impending change in the business,” Khwaja said.
The gridlock phenomenon has come to define our social system; much around us has succumbed to the gridlock: food, electricity, politics, traffic, oil, and public and private sectors are just a few; we feel it, we despise it, we hope to rid ourselves of it, and yet we accept it and bear it with a stubborn determination indigenous to us; it affects us everyday, yet we choose not to notice it and if we do, we choose to ignore it, she elaborated.
“[Sophiya] has used around 607 different techniques to give a physical shape to her imagination and has done it with almost perfection,” an art enthusiast said.
“There is thoroughness in [Sophiya’s] work. Her presentation is so beautiful that it ignites a sense of empathy within individuals,” another art aficionado explained.
This is not an illustration of the various gridlocks in our society, but a depiction of an individual’s awkward adjustment to and integration in this system of gridlock, the artist, throwing light on her paintings, said.