The Indus has, over the years, inspired artists, writers and poets — especially from Sindh — to come up with their versions of the river and how it has helped shape them as individuals and their society.

An exhibition of artworks made by the faculty of the Centre of Excellence in Art and Design (CEAD), Jamshoro, titled Where the Indus Flows at the Koel Gallery aims to achieve something similar.

The participating (more than a dozen) artists have come up with some remarkable paintings and sculptures that pay tribute to the river and at the same time speak volumes for the prodigious talent that these creative men and women have.

Kashif Shahzad sings praises of the land with his scenic oil-on-canvas paintings ‘Wild Garden’ and ‘Kirthar’. He makes a moving sequence — the flowing water, the swaying trees and the gentle atmosphere — stand still so the season it typifies can be thoroughly absorbed by the viewer.

Saba Qayoom Leghari brings the houses in Sindh into the equation with her colourful depiction of a ‘House at Sindh University’ and another in ‘Bhittai Nagar’. There’s vibrancy to her art that is so refreshing. The way she divides the colour scheme for a particular residence is judicious, relatable and representative of the abodes that people associate with.

Pir Najeebullah imparts a pensive touch to the subject with his poignant and thoughtfully painted ‘The Procession’ (acrylic on canvas). Again, the pensiveness comes from the way the artist colours his characters, but without giving them clearly identifiable faces. It’s the postures and the hues that make the viewer realise what Pir is hinting at.

On an entirely different note, Abdul Mallik Channa tips his hat to those who have served the world of art. His graphite-on-canvas pieces focus on dignitaries such as critic Marjorie Husain and their invaluable services to society. He does that through silhouettes that are embodied with kind, artistic spirits.

The exhibition concludes on May 31.


Originally published in Dawn, May 27th, 2019

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