Koel Gallery’s latest ‘multi-disciplinary’ project ‘ We Ate the Birds’ has engaged nineteen artists under its theme. Acting as the inauguration of the gallery’s new space and curated by Sehar Naveed, it focuses on the relationship of the local geography with birds and the degeneration of land. Ironically the show feels to me as more of how humans today interact less for sincere intent and more for conceited gains, as we are the birds, eating away the rights of other birds around us (metaphorically for people).
Adeela Suleman has created a huge metallic sculpture which comprises monotonous bird forms arranged symmetrically together. Taken from the series ‘After all it is Always Somebody Else Who Dies’, Adeela manages to engage the viewer with the appealing silver on the steel.
Seema Nusrat’s sculpture is a fine example of an ‘intelligent’ and highly relevant art piece. Titled ‘When Birds Collide’, the piece rests on metallic ‘feet’ shaped as of birds, topped with structures resembling buildings. Naturally with close and too many high structures, birds are at a danger to collide against them, resulting in a disturbed ecosystem (see below).
Works from Sohail Zuberi in the form of images of trees transferred on actual Lignum tree slices come off as somewhat extravagant. While discussing the importance of the natural ecosystems and habitats of birds, it is ironic that the artist used thick tree slices themselves (see below). I’d say it deeply discomforted me to see art being made on actual wood slices like this.
Other intriguing works came from Mohd. Abdul and Noreen Ali. The opening was an excellent one for Koel but a far less enthusiastic option for a true art lover as frames seemed to be lost in the massive new crowded gallery space. Some works seemed out of place despite literally following the theme. It is again ironic to note that despite the number of the artists involved in this project and a few strong works, collectively the show still misses a beat, perhaps a further impression should have been cast on the viewer with a project at this scale.
The show continues till August 21 and is best to be viewed with lesser folks around!