Canvas Gallery hosts art exhibition titled ‘Under the Sky’


The Canvas Gallery is hosting an art exhibition featuring works by Hala Nasir and Mamoon Tahir. Titled ‘Under the Sky’, the show will run at the gallery until July 28.

“Sometimes when we are travelling, we see this side of society in our surroundings: the poor and the gypsy children,” the catalogue issued by the gallery quotes Hala as saying.

“They are the faded faces of society. Even though the world has progressed a lot, some faces, poor and innocent, are still a very real part of our society. My artwork depicts the emotions of those children and the deprivation they face.”

She says that she uses traditional wool as a core medium in her artwork to show the happiness, beauty, innocence and hope in their lives.

Originally from Gujranwala, Hala completed her Bachelor’s in Fine Arts from the College of Art & Design, University of the Punjab, Lahore, with a major in painting (2018). She also received the Anna Molka Award 2021 from the College of Art & Design. She experiments with various mediums in her practice. Primarily working with wool, she creates domestic scenes in her artwork. Her paintings are fascinating, with their careful use of different coloured threads.

She has exhibited her work at the Ejaz Art Gallery, the Mussawir Art Gallery, the Taseer Art Gallery and Al-Hamra Arts Council in Lahore, and the Sanat Initiative in Karachi, and has participated in the Islamabad Art Festival at the Pakistan National Council of Arts.

As for Tahir, he believes in making art that is physically beautiful and emotionally compelling. “Pure creativity will come through me if I allow it and open myself to its flow,” he explains.

“I discovered that within me, conscious thought and forced ideas often impede my creative process, and therefore, I have done away with them as much as possible in the development of my methods, while trying to maintain a clear, focused and natural mind.”

This process now leads him to believe that his authentic subconscious is filtering through in his work. “I feel the paintings and subjects are being chosen from a transcendental level of consciousness, above the mind, and I allow myself to honour the absolute truth and honesty of their expression.”

His painting is not a means to an end, and therefore, he is very careful about maintaining an enjoyable and natural process. “I am struck by the beauty infused in many of the surreal works. I try and allow my paintings to paint themselves without limitations or themes.” His hope is always that he can share a deep joy and love by way of beauty in his current work. “I feel it is important to make paintings that speak of spiritual fulfilment and inspire wealth and value that cannot simply be bought or acquired with money or possession.”

He believes life can and should be a joyous experience, made all the more so by sharing and compassion. “I hope to one day communicate these elements with greater fusion in my paintings.” He says that all life is an expression of the universe. “When I paint, I participate in the process of such a wonderful performance. I try to allow it to flow through me just like water, easily and effortlessly finding its natural course.”

He feels that as an artist, he has such a uniquely privileged perspective, for he not only takes joy through the act of creation but also joy in observing its unfolding. He often learns so much more about himself from viewing the final painting.

“In the same way the seed puts forth a blade of grass through the hard soil and the mountains burst into colour in a display of sheer enthusiastic creation and life, I know the energy within every seed is also in me.”

He says his art and his painting may only be a drop of water, but each drop of water holds the same constituents as the whole ocean, so as he sees it, creating is an act infused with divinity. “I have also changed my practice in other subtle and significant ways. I used to work mostly with found imagery, but now I spend a long time making my subjects before I sketch them, and then I paint them.”

So, he goes on to explain, the creative moment was immediate in the past, but now it can last for days, weeks or even months.


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