‘Kaleidoscope by Sunlight’ comes to capital today
By Ali Hassan
ISLAMABAD: An exhibition of paintings by Ghulam Mustafa – a leading Lahore-based painter – titled ‘Kaleidoscope by Sunlight’ opens today (Thursday) at gallery 6.
Egyptian Ambassador Said Hindam will inaugurate the show. Ghulam Mustafa belongs to the group of ‘plein-air’ painters and masters who capture in immense details the magnificence of sunlight, shadows and created shades. He reveals the charms of simple surroundings, usually on large-scale canvasses. The artist’s eyes brilliantly seize the kaleidoscopic effects created by the sunlight whether while walking in the interior of the Walled City of Lahore, passing through lanes, admiring the blossoming trees, enjoying clear skies, moving in the country side, or travelling in the mountains. He is a prominent artist of the School of Punjab Landscapes that was initiated by his teacher, Khalid Iqbal.
Ghulam Mustafa was born in his grandfather’s house in the Walled City of Lahore. Many of his paintings reflect the architectural heritage of the area. There are scenes as seen through the city gates, in Kashmiri Bazaar or from balconies of the area. One could see people moving in the lanes, some bicycling, puris being made at roadside restaurants, kites flying – all of which are symbols of thriving life in the rich cultural city of Lahore.
According to Marjorie Hussain, a leading art critic, “Exploring his work one discovers an atmosphere that reveals the charm of the pattern elicited from the humblest surroundings. Mustafa’s work is a commitment to the making of art about the city he loves. He evokes a surreal sense of drama in the use of light and texture. One’s imagination is titillated by the touches of lively colour against dark tones. There are areas in which the brushstrokes of objects are blurred at the edges, creating an atmosphere that subtly introduces social, political and environmental issues”.
Besides the architecturally rich scenes and remnants of the past, the artist also paints parks, blossoming trees, rural life and scenes of Murree Hills. A still life of teapot, cups, glasses and other utensils placed in shade on a window of a tea hut in mountains is as striking as the bright blossoming maltas in glorious sunshine. This reflects his ability to paint anywhere without being disturbed by the hustle and bustle of the surroundings. He paints with details, making the viewer move into the focussed spot – an ability which is the hallmark of a highly skilled and mature painter.
Talking to Daily Times, gallery 6 Curator Dr Arjumand Faisel said, “Ghulam Mustafa’s absorbing paintings of streets and alleys filled with different characters and characteristics remind me of the stories and characters of the famous writer Naguib Mehfuz, the winner of the Nobel prize from Egypt. This is the reason that we have invited His Excellency Mr Said Hindam, the ambassador of Egypt, to inaugurate the show.”
Ghulam Mustafa received the National Prize in genre of landscape painting at the 7th National Visual Arts Exhibition in 1996, and in 2002 he was honoured with President’s Pride of Performance Award. Besides this, he is the recipient of numerous honours from various exhibitions, both in Pakistan and abroad. He has worked in different capacities in different organisations, including as executive director of the Punjab Arts Council. The exhibition will continue daily from 11am to 7pm (including Saturdays and Sundays) until October 8 at House 19, Street 10, F-8/3.