Drawing Mandalas at Canvas

Five artists, five schools of thought and five ways of interpreting life: this seems to be the idea behind a group show titled ‘Drawing Mandalas’, which opened at the Canvas Art Gallery on Tuesday.

The artists belonging to five prominent art colleges in the country are participating in the show curated by Muhammad Zeeshan (who is an artist himself). They have different techniques and individual styles of tackling issues they deem pertinent on personal and impersonal levels.

The tone of the show is set with the very first exhibit by Abid Aslam called ‘M for McDonald’s’ (ring on wasli). It is not the content but the technique (of tiny circles contributing to a bigger picture) that helps the viewer realise the artist is trying to comment on society’s evolution. It is in the unclearness of the scene that clarity is achieved.

Shiblee Munir does a terrific job with ‘Perception In-Between’ (graphite on canvas permanent glazed with non-yellowish transparent resin). It is a triumph of imagination. The artist leaves a hollow space (perhaps a human figure) and makes it look like the detached part of the scenery whose greyness creates melancholia of sorts. He gets the same effect (read: result) with ‘A Bite from Painting’ touching on an ostensibly different topic.

Maria Khan’s ‘Grape Wine’ (charcoal on canvas) cannot be missed too. It is a remarkable portrayal of human nature (hearsay, tittle-tattle etc), which is usually depicted using flashy shades. She has painted it with the blackness that is louder than colours.

‘Craving for Love’ is also a worth noticing work of art. Here is an artist to watch out for.

Manisha Jiani plays with the flowing effect of lines and colours. ‘Sky for Sale’ (acrylic, ink and needle on wasli) is a special artwork. The artist intelligently employs the boldness of blue and black and makes them come across less bold.Seher Naveed’s ‘And Those Houses’ series (paper cut drawings on plexi glass) examines the ‘transient’ nature of existence, and conveys the concern quite effectively.

The exhibition will continue till Sept 6.


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