Welcome readers to the November 2018 issue of ArtNow, “Green in Grey” which brings its focus to the ecology of Pakistan and explores its natural environment and its crises in the current times. As part of this theme, I am excited about our Photo Essay, which brings our attention to Seaview at Karachi one of the longest stretch of sea shores in the region marking the border of Karachi with the Indian Ocean. The essay is a visual depiction of the polluted shoreline and its significance for the largest city of Pakistan and its ever-growing population encapsulating its identity as a coastal city, providing its deprived citizens with relief and recreation, and in return becoming a dumping ground for its debris, sewage and waste.
I am excited to announce the participation of Vasl Artist’s Association in “Focal Point”, a recently launched annual art book fair at the Sharjah Art Foundation publishing event. This 3-day event taking place in early November at Bait Obaid Al Shamsi will present and circulate various publications from well-known as well as smaller private publishers and will provide exposure to alternate forms of media outlets. I am excited to be part of this endeavor with ArtNow’s latest print publication, the ArtNow Newspaper, which will also be available at the event.
The Sharjah Art Foundation also recently announced its Curator in Residence Program in partnership with Air Arabia, issuing an open call for curators from all over the world. Selected candidates will get to curate an exhibition which will take place at Sharjah Art Foundation, and will engage in research and receive support for travel to destinations within Air Arabia’s flight network, which incorporates 70 cities around the world, to further their research. The Foundation is looking for proposals that seek to engage with and enrich the local, regional and international art context and highlight connections between Sharjah and the larger region, which offers a great opportunity for emerging curators in Pakistan.
Another open call has been issued by Vasl Artist Association exclusively for Pakistani artists from all disciplines to share proposals for research and execution of fully funded public art projects. The project “Loud Speaker” seeks to generate critical discourse within Pakistani communities and generate dialogue to address social issues that plague our societies today. While applications were closed on the 25th of October, the upcoming project will run from November till March and I am excited to see what the artistic and creative community of Pakistan has to offer.
A series of exciting exhibitions have been taking place in the country recently, marking important moments in the Paksitani art context. Under Line at the ArtChowk Gallery brings together faculty members of various institutions and their various drawing explorations. The show is significant as it highlights the ideas, techniques and qualities that these artists instill and impart onto future generations of artists as they hone and nurture their talents, giving an insight into the future of the Pakistani art scene. This group of 10 artists including Munawar Ali Syed, Khalid Soomro, Danish Ahmed, Raheela Abro and S.M Raza explore exciting and diverse concerns in the medium of drawing. Watch out for ArtNow’s coverage of the show.
Another important exhibition that took place this month was at the Canvas Gallery with the latest paintings by the British artist Belinda Eaton from 2015-18. The artist has previously resided in London, New York, France, Karachi, Barcelona and is currently living and painting between England and Andalucia, Spain. She has had a number of exhibitions all over the world and her work is often referred to as “Magic Realism”, the expressive, bold brushstrokes in her portraits almost creating a movement, representing reality yet a stylistic, mesmerizing version of it. The artist paints her surroundings, the people, plants, animals and colors that she encounters and that fascinate her. “Recent Paintings” by Belinda Eaton is also being covered in the current issue of ArtNow.
O Art Space in Lahore recently held a fundraising exhibition for the late artist Qutub Rind, honoring his last body of work. The young artist, an NCA graduate, was recently tragically killed in Lahore. The event will also host an extensive contribution from various artists across Pakistan, who have come together in solidarity for the late artist.
Another very exciting show this month was “Objects We Behold” at the AAN Gandhara Art-Space, a curatorial project of eminent art critic and curator Amra Ali, bringing together fiver artists working with found objects and transforming them to drive their personal narratives. Beautifully curated, the show maintains a dialogue not only with the audience but in between different works. The show also bring some exciting works by artists like Tazeen Qayyum, which have never been shown in Pakistan before, and works that have traveled across states by some big names such as Ruby Chishty. Together Tazeen Qayyum, Marium Agha, Affan Bhagpati, Ruby Chishty and Adeela Suleman use their morphed objects to narrate stories of pain and loss and perhaps create sanctuaries that might offer some form of relief through the contradictions created within the works.
Bye for NOW!