Terrains and Regions-Shazia Zuberi’s “Cartography”

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Won’t you be fascinated to have history and geography sweep through your mind by looking at sculpture, produced in today’s era? Shazia Zuberi’s latest endeavor with clay opens at Art Chowke with a bold statement and a natural palette; art taking you through the past and evolving into the present.

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Shazia who has been exhibiting since the late 90’s has been able to progress into a contemporary artist who knows how to produce sculpture which is aesthetically pleasing. While a lot of art produced today all over the world has evolved beyond beauty and tends to engage the audience with the concept, Cartography Series engages the onlooker with the markings and the etchings on the clay work, worked within a limited palette and still able to wonderfully capture the attention of the art enthusiast. The work is reminiscent of the past ages of glorious art, which encapsulates Pakistani northern terrain especially the areas within Naltar, geography and the patterns of the earth, etched and glazed extremely skillfully on the terra cotta pieces. The sculpture is that of bowls, abstract forms, dots as markings of individuality and stylized faces with a palette which is warm and earthly without any bright tones, yet complete and aesthetic in form.

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Upon interacting with the audience, I came to find diverse views, each individualistic in its entirety. Yasmeen, an art enthusiast found herself interested in the palette, limited yet definite hues which amalgamated into such earthly tones with stylized abstract faces. Zeenat, a Fine Artist based in Karachi, found the element of mystery fascinating with respect to the material used in the figure. “It is a sure success of an artist when we gaze upon their work with wonder thinking as to how the artist achieved such glazes and finishing with that expertise”.  Several visitors found the glazing to be very effective in communicating the theme and the form of the entire concept as purported by Shazia. Salim Shamsie and daughter Saman Shamsie enjoyed the way the textures and the etchings came together blending in with the form. “I am here for the glazes, and these are very well done”, says Salim.

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All sculpture is Terracotta, molded with techniques and hand building, eventfully burnished with the brown haze and the green glazes to form patterns which reminiscence about history, land, weather changes and erosion, forming terrains and maps hence the Cartography series. This adds into Pakistan’s current art production with efficient use of medium and exuberance in a cultural and geographical context. Show continues at Art Chowke, until October 3rd.

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