Multiple artists have their work showcased on online exhibition amidst pandemic

An online exhibition was held with carefully curated pieces of work from multiple artists, whose own interpretations of Alienation are depicted in their work to promote feelings of positivity and hope amidst an isolating pandemic.

Zainab Omar’s Artcade recently launched an online exhibition, titled Alienation, on Wednesday, the 15th of July, 2020. The exhibition which was curated by Roma Ali, aims to spread some positivity and hope amidst the pandemic by putting thgether the work of 24 contemporary artists which used imaginative skills to reflect back on fears brought forth by the pandemic.

The following artists were featured: Mediha Kamal, Zahra Mansoor Hussain, Mehrbano Khattak, Rida Khan, Sadaf Mirza, Mahnoor Malik, Zarmeen Akhund, Qirat Soomro, Fatima Khan, Maheen Hashmi, Sidra Ali, Fatima Ameer, Faiza Taufique, Khushbakht Islam, Nayab Tahir, Qurtulain Memon, Ujala Khan, Amna Rahman, Waseem Akram Solangi, Farrukh Adnan, Shireen Ikramullah, Maham Hamza Amir, Sana Shah and Misha Sheikh.

“The past few months have recalibrated the very notions of normalcy,” is what Ms. Ali had to say. “Our everyday life has become confined to the limits of our homes while we grapple with events at a global scale. The thoughts about uncertainty and isolation organically make way into the works of these contemporary artists who have used art as a medium to bring out underlying emotions and send messages of hope and escape to many in solitude.”

Zarmeen Akhund is a digital media artist residing in Karachi, whose work reflects spiritual journeys. Misha Sheikh is a young artist who faces problems in working through ‘online’ art school. She aspires for her artwork to give voice to those who remain unheard.

Waseem Akrma Solangi hails from Dadu in Sindh. According to him, his art is based on image and text. “Images serve as the main character and the text is an illusion, a contrast to the image. I paint on newspaper surfaces to erase existing images and affix my own. Therefore, the composition that comes together is conflicting. My main focus is the viewer’s mentality. Sometimes, we see certain things but our mind triggers an alternate thought process. I explore this idea of relating varied images with irrelevant text,” Mr Solangi said.

For Fatima Aamir, the theme of Alienation represented “a feeling of being isolated from human interaction.”

“The image depicted in the painting is an analogy of how an astronaut would feel in outer space. The plant she is holding in one hand is in hopes that during this time when Mother Nature is recovering will bring better days for humans in the future,” she said.

For Mahnoor Malik, the pandemic brought about unanticipated lifestyle changes that she reflected back on.

She said: “After 26 years of successfully avoiding the kitchen like the plague, I not only find myself cooking during this pandemic but also enjoying it. The pressure cooker and I are not friends yet, but we’ll work on it. I made this painting to remind myself and others of how impactful this year has been on all of us and has given us reasons to grow and explore our own lives in so many ways.”

Mehrbano Khattak’s work involves a “multiplicity of themes”, as she went on to add, “I try to intersect nature and human in minimalistic styles that spark new and unexpected meanings. My works have more of a modern setting as I am genuinely inspired by the complexity and intricacies of visual communication design. The subject or context in my work mainly revolves around day to day personal experiences and narratives.”

For Fatima Khan, her painting ‘The Golden Book of Life’ was inspired by Michelangelo’s ‘Creation of Adam’.

She said: “The world is changing, it is healing, there is light at the end of the tunnel. For me this suffering might be inevitable for humankind to embrace reality and stop living an artificial life. The string which was connecting us to nature has been broken but as we have stayed home, listened deeply, prayed, meditated and learnt new ways of survival, we are actually meeting our own shadows, and in the process, we are healing. Once the pandemic is over, we would make new choices, dream new images and create new ways to live and eventually heal the earth fully.”