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Who is Afraid of Green Exhibition by Sobia Ahmed
Who is Afraid of Green
Exhibition of Paintings
New Work 2014
on Tuesday 11 November 2014 at 5:00 pm
the Exhibition will continue till 24 November 2014
Daily 11:30 am to 6:30 pm (Closed Sundays)
House 1, Street 2, F-6\3, Margalla Road,
Sobia Ahmed’s exhibition titled ‘Who is Afraid of Green’ opening at Khaas Gallery on Tuesday touches upon a thought-provoking observation by the artist in a creative monologue connecting to the history of continued subjugation of culture and ideology of this region.
About 15 artworks done in Gouache Opaque Watercolour on display reflect the artist’s interpretation of the idea of ideology, scanning the gradual decline of ideology in Pakistan that has often been attributed to the influence and interference of the west in Pakistan’s socio-political structure.
The artist, Sobia Ahmed, describes her creative philosophy and work as an attempt in visual interplay of the past and the present to demonstrate how our subjugation by the British damaged and even hindered the growth of our culture and ideology. In her creative statement, Sobia says “Our inability to free ourselves from outside interference and create our own ideology that can stand up to outside interference has meant that there was nothing to counter western imperialism in our post-colonial era and I have attempted to draw out these similarities between the past and present political scenario through an interplay of symbols that characterise the current (predicament) of Pakistan.”
Sobia finds this failure to create an ideology for everyone to stand united behind has led to divisions based on sect, religion and ethnicity, among others, and the problems this failure causes. The miniature arts lecturer at the National College of Arts, Lahore, uses abstract symbolism in her works to make them stand out. Using symbols that give it historical context, such as the Jinnah cap, flag, crescent, moon; much is also implied indirectly through the presence of crows and vultures that dominate some of her paintings and symbolise the negative omnipresence of western powers, where they take on the role of animals, or rather hunters, preying on the weak and vulnerable. Some not so subtle images, like arrows, focus on the suffering and helplessness that have become the philosophy of a wandering nation. The dark, creeping foliage slowly creeping across the Map of the country and the national flag symbolise how our national identity is slowly crumbling away to nothing.
The almost loving smothering of the bright green and clear white also symbolise a similar fate as Sobia tries to interpret a new creative vision to appropriate national symbols and examine them under a new light to question the notions of ideology and nationhood that this phrase Sobia has earned a great repute as a miniaturist after pursuing her studies at National College of Arts, Lahore. Her work reflects her thoughts and emotions as she explores the fine lines between subject matter and content in her work. Her watercolours seem to grow out of deep metaphysical recesses and she relies on abstraction and form to compose a miniature to reckon with. Her ease to use multi colours in her miniature paintings infuses keen interest of the viewers. As a dialogue between past and present, traditions and contemporary challenges, Sobia’s unique depictions offer a daring comment inviting a spontaneous interaction of myth and reality of reflecting her observation about unspoken truth and incomprehensible mystery of lif.
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