Paint of Life in Cholistan
Students attempted to bring the charm of the desert to the capital, in a painting exhibition, which opened on Wednesday.
The exhibition titled, ‘Life in Cholistan’ was organised by Development Communication Network (Devcom) Pakistan.
Thirteen oil and acrylic on paper and canvas works were displayed as part of the exhibition. Most paintings were contributed by bachelors and masters students from colleges and universities in Bahawalpur.
The paintings were skillfully made featuring dust coloured dunes and trees from the desert landscape. They demonstrated people’s love for the desert and their culture.
However, the mismanagement of the exhibition took away from the paintings.
The exhibition was arranged in a sitting room rather than a proper gallery with paintings haphazardly displayed on walls. Sofas were pushed against the walls of the room, making it difficult to see the paintings, up-close.
The purpose of the exhibition, according to the organiser was to bring attention to the tourism and agricultural potential of the Cholistan desert.
Speaking to visitors, Munir Ahmed, director Devcom, said the Cholistan desert was one of the most neglected areas in the country. He said the Cholistan Development Authority and Punjab government waste more money in organising the desert rally than in the uplift of the region.
“The historical remains like the Darawar Fort are close to collapsing, the national park has thoroughfares running through it and influential landlords have more water for their fields than locals have for drinking. So much more can be done to turn the Cholistan desert into a huge tourist attraction like India’s Rajasthan desert thronged by local and foreign visitors,” Munir Ahmed said.
Regarding paintings on display, Munir Ahmed said they demonstrate hard work by the students and the skillful brush strokes are impressive.
“This is a new gallery and we will host more shows here in the future,” he said.
The display is an offshoot of the Pakistan Moot on Desert Conservation held two weeks ago. In the moot, 50 students from colleges and universities undertook research projects and a field trip to Cholistan focusing on sustainable agriculture, water conservation, biodiversity conservation, ecotourism and cultural heritage of the desert.