Art and Culture: Exploring a Pakistani Palette
The spring exhibition at 1×1 gallery, ‘The Tapestry of Fading Gardens’, weaves together works by 16 Pakistani artists based in major art centres such as Lahore, Karachi and Quetta as well as more remote areas to present a rich tapestry of contemporary art across the country.
Established and emerging artists participating in the show include Adeela Suleman, Affan Baghpati, Ali Kazim, Farrukh Adnan, Ghulam Mohammad, Huma Iftikhar, Maheen Ausaf, Muzzumil Ruheel, Saba Qizilbash, Salima Hashmi, Sarah Ahmad, Shah Abdullah Alamee, Shakila Haider, Sheraz Faisal, Wardha Shabbir and Yasir Waqas.
The most striking work in the show, ‘When You Had Enough of Paradise!’, by Suleman, is a latticed steel curtain hanging down from the ceiling all the way to the floor. The repetitive pattern on the curtain is formed by figures of birds, some upright and some upside down, cut into the steel.
“The memory of violence is embedded not only in people’s bodies and minds but also on the landscape in the form of war memorials or monuments. The more heinous the crime the more beautiful the monument.
“In the same way I camouflage violence with beauty. This monument-like structure is a symbol of pain and deaths caused by war, bombings, unlawful killings and fake encounters by police. Birds represent freedom, sacrifice, resurrection, the soul or death in different cultures and mythologies, so I have dedicated a sparrow, the most common bird in Karachi to each death. The birds make a pattern that repeats itself infinitely reflecting the endless violence around us,” says Suleman.