KARACHI: A two-person show titled Ring a bell opened at the Sanat Art Gallery on Tuesday evening. Obviously the reference is to do with looking back on events, not necessarily negative, that have had a profound impact on the two participating artists — Anil Waghela and Qutub Rind. But that’s the catch. It’s not so much about jogging one’s memory, rather it’s about trying to go past a phase from which one can both learn and unlearn.
This is evident in Rind’s work. The first give-away is his medium: chamakpatti on wasli. By using something that’s very desi, if you like, he’s obviously localising the context. It is through this localisation that he is trying to drive a point home, which is the ebbs and flows of the society that he’s an integral part of — integral, because in his own way he is trying to impart new meanings to old set patterns. The first untitled piece is a cogent example of it. What the artist doesn’t want the viewer to see is not his interpretation of life; he wants the ambiguity to play a role in his existence in a manner that distorts negativity around him, if there is any. Distortion is good, in that sense.
Waghela too hides more and reveals less. His method is entirely different. He in his Process Drawings series (dry pastels and tissue tape on paper compressed in resin) pays tribute to the (master) artists that he seems to have admired most in his life. Interestingly, thought the subjects are the same, with mythological allusions dipped in aesthetics, they look relevant and contemporary. The artist has been able to achieve this because he sees, as everyone should, history as a continuum and not as a disjointed set of events. Again, like his fellow artist, he is not trying to return to a phase, but moving forward by accepting history as a veritable teacher.
The exhibition will run till July 28.
Originally published in Dawn, July 21st, 2016