To honour the life and work of the late Noor Mukadam, an art exhibition was held at the Pakistan National Council of Arts (PNCA) in Islamabad on December 10.
Curated by veteran artist Syed Jamal Shah, the exhibition featured Noor’s calligraphies and artwork and not only showcased her work but also provided an insight into the kind of person she was — humane, kindhearted and sensitive.
The exhibition began with the recitation of the Holy Quran, followed by a moment of silence in Noor’s remembrance and a welcome address by Jamal Shah who remembered Noor and reiterated that the purpose of the exhibition was to showcase Noor’s expression of grace and humility through her art.
Activist and motivational speaker Muniba Mazari read out Maya Angelo’s ‘And Still I Rise’ in Noor’s memory at the event.
“You may shoot me with your words, you may cut me with your eyes, you may kill me with your hatefulness but still like air, I will rise. Leaving behind nights of terror and fear, I rise into a daybreak that wondrously clear, I rise bringing the gift my ancestors gave I am the dream and the hope of the slave, I rise. I rise. Noor Mukadam rises!” she recited.
Although each work was remarkable and insightful, the highlight of the exhibit were the 99 names of Allah that Noor calligraphed. Speaking to Images, Noor’s father Shaukat Mukadam mentioned that these 99 names were calligraphed in the pages of her diary which were later taken out and framed for this exhibit.
“Noor began practicing artwork since a very early age but her passion and interest in art deepened in the last few years. Her colour scheme and thinking matured greatly recently and her choice of colours and combinations was so unique that we would all often be amazed,” he said.
He added that Noor’s artwork shows her real personality, her love for the Almighty and His creations.
Talking about the proceedings of the case, he displayed great patience and said that he is satisfied by the proceedings. “Trials take their time, but we are hopeful that the end result will be justice. The high court has asked the session court to wind it up in eight weeks. This is not a question of my daughter now, this is an effort to make all daughters of Pakistan safe in their homes and public spaces,” he added.
The exhibition also featured lots of mixed media works, including a life-sized painting of the cartoon Dumbo, which Noor’s mother recalled as her painting for her sister’s baby shower.
“This painting became too huge to be posted so she cut it into pieces and turned it into a puzzle to be put together later on,” she explained.
Noor’s artworks managed to bring the entire city together in one place. The exhibition also featured live painting by artists Tulin Khalid Azim, Rabia Ayub and Shafaq Hasnain Zaidi and a message board where guests and friends of Noor wrote messages to honour her memory.
The exhibition continues on Saturday, 11am to 5pm at the PNCA and is open for the public.