An artist, like early inhabitants of planet earth, starts the course of his vision by admiring elements of nature in his surroundings: trees, flowers, rivers, streams, seas, rain, clouds, stars, sky, moon, sun, animals, birds, insects – and other human beings! Only at a later stage he tries to translates his observation, imagination and emotions in forms, either by replicating his memory of things in his contact, or in a stylized format. Leading to a system of converting outside/retinal reality into shapes, which can be traced backed to actual entities, but in their appearance, look combinations of lines on an imaginary field.
Human beings invented geometry – rather discovered it through their studies of nature. Compared to nature which has immense variety of originals, and uniqueness, Mankind recognized the possibility of reproducing a form completely, accurately and abundantly. Motifs denote petals, flowers, fish, stars, birds etc., but these have their independent presence, importance and meanings, often seen in the work of visual arts, architecture, ceramics, tapestries, and other functional arts. There are treatises to decode the meanings attached or hidden within a circle, a square, a triangle.
Often creative individuals infuse and bestow new meanings for specific geometric shapes, which symbolize separate things in different cultures. Historically, cube had a sacred significance for many cultures, circle is associated with infinity, recycling and spiritual attainment, cross is a religious icon for Christianity, but artists of modern times had discovered new dimensions in these basic geometric shapes.
The present issue of Art Now Pakistan brings forth two essays dealing with geometry in human expressions, mainly art and architecture, beyond a region or a period. Likewise, the photo-essay expands the notion of geometry in a creative scheme, much like the art of Wardha Shabbir – recently nominated for Jamil Art Prize, as her interview highlights the artist’s interpretation of the structure of miniature painting/perspective. The profile of Meher Afroz is a homage to a visual artist, who has incorporated geometry in her work in a lyrical, poetic and painterly manner. Her paintings extend the notion of order and spontaneity, strict form and looseness, restrictions and freedom. Actually, her work becomes a metaphor of our times, in which binaries oppositions exist side by side, simultaneously – and some time comfortably.
Art Now Pakistan aims to seek, suggest and signify this link between art and life, every month, and this time too.