‘Echoes of Silence’ at Nomad


ISLAMABAD: A solo exhibition of exclusive paintings by Samina Ali will be open tomorrow at the Nomad Art Gallery (NAG).The collection in the exhibition titled ‘Echoes of Silence’ acquires an abstract juxtaposition of patterns and story telling which is symbolic and eye-catching.Samina is trained in fine arts with a major in painting and minors in printmaking and the miniature tradition, her practice evolved to incorporate traditional techniques from the Islamic arts, fusing Vaddri (marbling) and washes along with contemporary collage to create multi-layered works.These medium to large scale collages are characterised by assemblages of paper, gold and silver leaf, tea and paint washes, and script. Fascinated by texture, an avid collector of fragments of paper, old photographs, clippings, metal leaf, and even foil wrappings, many of the papers she uses in the elaborate backgrounds are imbued with personal memory.Cuttings taken from old miniatures are reworked so that they are not just illustrations, but symbolise the elements of love, peace, turmoil, superimposed or inset into the complex surface. In this way, the present series paintings of birds by Miskeen, a well-known miniature painter during the reign of Jahangir are used as symbols of peace and love, as well as evoking a sense of nostalgia.Several of the works in this series are a departure from the way the artist has hitherto, handled the surface. While she continues to use similar elements and techniques, the space is treated differently.The curator of the gallery, Nageen Hayat said, “In this exhibition, Samina’s paintings affirm her contribution to the legacy of the Muslim art while, in its essence, being a symbol of modernity and rich aesthetics. The narratives are familiar while she plays with the compositions and imagery to give visual strength and highlight links with the local heritage and culture.”“I have always been interested in the harmony between space and form with collages and calligraphy woven together. Being closely associated with the Islamic history, it’s hard to imagine myself not using the long lost stories which are enclosed in books or museums. To remain in touch with the past is to keep history alive, lost images in time resonating through a flow of vibrant colors and textures,” Samina said.She added, “the hardest task is in inventing a pictorial language that would convey a personal way of seeing things, while at the same time discovering what the personal vision is.”

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Aaj Kal