KARACHI: VM Art Gallery, on Saturday, inaugurated an exhibition 'Echoes of Memory' by retired Lt Col Fadhil Yousafzai - Fazil, featuring landscapes in different weathers and figures.
A globally recognised artist; Fazil has done a number of shows in Pakistan and abroad. He is also honoured with Tamgha-e-Imtiaz (military).
On the inauguration, a large number of public, including art lovers and critics were present to witness the 43 art pieces by the artist.
One of his art pieces, 'Winter Sonata' on the medium of pastel on paper is a view of hills covered with snow, while small trees are visible on a little distance.
Another 'Autumn in Chitral' made with pastels on paper depict exactly what the title says in bright hues of warm colours, especially dark yellow.
'Oak Walk' is another pastel on paper showing a passage covered with trees and greenery. The artist made huge trees in the surroundings, covering the path with heavy foliage on top.
The artist uses vibrant colours, mostly from the warm palette with tones and shades of red, yellow and brown, interspersed with green and blue for the foliage and sky.
Fazil in his statement asserts, "It is a strong creative impulse that urges me to paint, the end-product of which feeds my sense of purpose and achievement. To me, life without some positive outcome and commitment is meaningless, thus painting for me becomes a compulsion and almost a 'raison d'etre'."
For Fazil, painting landscapes comes naturally, almost instinctively, and perhaps the way he has been exposed to the beauty of nature makes him so devoted towards giving it expression.
"Streams of the mountains, beaten paths through verdant forests, trees overhanging their own reflections in lakes and the windswept drama of endless wastelands are the images that have crept into my soul and fill me with on urgency to commit them in colour," he states.
The artist grew up in the quiet cantonment of Peshawar, surrounded by large, old trees of mulberry, pipal, maple and jaman alongside narrow irrigation channels with the backdrop of snow- topped Khyber Hills in the distance.
Almost all his artwork is a kaleidoscope of weather in the mountains. From bright reds and yellows, to serene white and a frozen lake.
Fazil speaks of his earliest memories as calming. "Spring, summer, autumn and winter visits to the high mountains of Karakorum and Hindukush have instilled in me a respect, awe and fascination for these unique landscapes."
Being a self-trained artist, he has been interpreting the grandiosity and majesty of these mountains in pastels for at least three decades.
Speaking about his experimentation in materials and mediums, he states; "In recent years, I have diversified and am creating fresco tempera-based surfaces and abstract landscapes in pigmentation on cork, all the time, as in my pastels, giving expression to my passion for nature through bright colours. I oftentimes conclude that my painting is a reflection of what gives me delight and which I can conjure up with my inward eye, and which I do not want to let go so that each painting becomes a part of my soul memory."
Depicting his experiments on cork with pigments, 'Conversation I, II, III' are made in vibrant colours like those impressionist techniques, where the essence is capture rather than the details of a subject.
Talking to Daily Times, VM Director Rifat Alvi said, "Fadhil's work is unique and different, which is why we decided to put it on display."
Being a senior artist, his grip on his subject is amazing. "He is an outdoors person, who captures the beauty of nature in his art pieces brilliantly," the director concluded.
The exhibition will continue till January 11.
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