Art rooted in Psychology, KU final year graduates worked with theme delving in memories, traumas, scars, thinking patterns, relationships, comparison between humans, confusion of the human mind and of the existence of an entire universe inside an individual.
The Karachi University Fine art degree show December 2015 starred the works of six graduates including Sabahat Aqueem, Farhan Surani, Shafaq Afzal, Mariya Rehan, Mujjee Asif and Rukhsana Shoaib.
“Physical, psychological or emotional, the cycles of the body are in constant transformation,” said Shafaq Afzal, who showed this major transformation in the form of pregnancy, using the mother’s bosoms and the metamorphosis of a fetus. “This change is not confined to just one part of the body, but involves her physicality, her reason of existence and most importantly her soul”.
She explained that it’s about the connection deep within a mother, it explains her role of regeneration and the fears and hopes attached to it. Hope of a giving life or fear of losing a life in the process. “It explains the pain, grief and suffering of an already felt loss and more than ever an increased sensitivity towards it. It tells about the strength to deal with all such fears, accepting them, fighting them and still clinging to hope, which is the compensation and the reward to it all,” said Afzal while explaining the lead drawings in the stained glass and white sculptures showing bosoms.
Another thesis focused on thinking patterns and comparisons between human beings as Farhan Surani put an interactive installation up using ‘connecting the dots’ game in the form of a wooden installation. Mariya Rehan discussed the irony of good times and bad times as she painted landscapes on stones with a particular one with a painted picture of Nanga Parbat on an earthquake structure showing the high and lows of life and the interaction of nature with men.
Another Artwork with memories embedded in it in the form of printed pictures inside soaps, was symbolic of the act of cleansing one’s self of bad memories, washing them away and moving on. Haunting old pictures of women and children almost had a chilling and dreamy effect on one at the same time as the characters were seen inside the soap staring back at the onlooker. “Where people use diaries and photographs, I have used soap to temporarily embed my thoughts, fears, dreams and experiences along with the pain it caused to be able to let go of the past and look towards the future,” said Sabahat Aqueem, the artist, also reminding that the images in the soap will dissolve along with its every usage.
Alveena Asif, the Islamic Arts graduate among the six freah graduates, took inspiration from Rumi and his idea of existence of a universe in an individual. Using the colors of the four basic elements of life such as water, fire, air and earth, her painted work showed different scenes inspired by Rumi’s era.
Another artist Mujtaba Asif’s clay pieces were shaped as different objects denoting different events in life and the confusion in the human mind and its vagueness. Rukhsana Shoaib on the other hand, showed family unit and her struggles with motherhood, job, studies and a difficult commute, using the concept of footsteps and sculptures showing her and her baby’s hands which resonated solace as she found comfort in her family and not being able to spend enough time with them. Her representation through the white plaster sculptures and limbs covered with socks showed footsteps literally along with modern day hectic life and style.
Amid the challenges faced by the Karachi University students and the lack of government support. The young talent put up a thought provoking and show inspired by the psychological workings of a human brain and it’s intricacies.
Munira Abbas is a freelance journalist with a background in graphic design and law.