Thursday, March 25, 2010

Golden Jubilee Events - A tribute to Pakistan’s cultural heritage

A well-conceived and aesthetically strong exhibition featuring the works of three talented artists opens at Nomad’s Saidpur Village branch here today (Thursday).

The unusual exhibition offers sepia-toned pyrographic art by A I Qureshi and Mubashir Iqbal and exquisite slate carvings-ranging from life-size pieces to smaller wall hangings and trays — all inscribed with traditional motifs and symbols by M Ilyas and team.

Qureshi focuses on the Royal Hunt series from insight into the Mughal period, using colour experimentally in traditional pyrography, an ancient technique of burning on wood with a scalding iron tool. His eight artworks are maturely handled and present historical references and images that are imaginatively presented.

Mubashir presents 17 traditional sepia-toned pyrographic paintings reflecting cultural and historic subjects including the old traditional bazaars and streets of Peshawar, Lahore’s various gates, and streets in the old city of Rawalpindi. Also included are stone carvings and historical images of Alexander and the gladiators from Rome, all inspired by the history and majesty of those periods.

Ilyas, the slate-engraver who has inherited the tradition from his fore-fathers, learnt the craft from his maternal grandfather when he was an observant young boy. The slate stones are made from boulders carefully prized out of the Gangar mountains, the extraction being a difficult and laborious task. The engravers struggle arduously to keep the tradition alive as a profession and Ilyas involves his family members in engraving the precious slate — a stone that stands up to various temperatures.

The life-size engraved stones are of exceptional beauty and variety, carved with care on both sides with varying shades of natural colours of grey and undertones of iron ore and copper. All the engraved patterns are from traditional jewellery and local motifs from the area of Sirikot, a village in Haripur in the district of Hazara, NWFP.

Various other products like trays, lamps and other crafts support the exhibition, which reflects Pakistan’s rich cultural heritage. To carry this tradition forward, it is crucial to support the slate engravers so that this process of creating livelihoods through an exquisite art form keeps the craft alive.

The exhibition will remain open until April 15.

No comments:

Post a Comment