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When the Heart Finds its Shore

Author: Peerzada Salman      Publications: Dawn - Metropolitan      Dated: 14 Sept 2011

Exhibition Navigation

KARACHI, Sept 13: The heart symbolises many things, including the readily predictable amorous feelings. In our part of the world its also used to denote that side of human existence which doesnt pertain to bodily or worldly pursuits. An exhibition of Talha Rathores work, which opened at Chawkandi Art Gallery on Tuesday and will continue till Sept 20, looks at the subject in both ways and at the same time appears to depart from its established connotations.

The pieces on display, which appear to have a theme, also talk about (or hint at) another thing: seawater. There may be a connection between the heart and the sea here. Both, in a manner of speaking, eventually lead to fertility (of race, ideas, etc), Its not surprising, therefore, that the first exhibit is titled A Boundless Sea (gouache, block print and collage on wash). Thats where the story begins, but it starts to make that important link in the second piece The Heart Settles (gouache and block print on wasli). Sea and heart together! And then its Celebrating Life (gouache on wasli) where a tinge of green reinforces the concept of living beings, albeit in a way that needs a bit of deciphering.

However, its with the four pieces My Heart too will find its Shore (gouache on wasli) that Talha Rathore himself gives away her intent. No matter what stratum of society one belongs to, the kaghaz  ki kashti (paper boats) must be an inalienable part of ones childhood. The artist here plays with that image in a smart manner. The white kashti in the thick, wavy azure waters depicts the different facets of lifes journey. The noticeable technical feature of the work is the use of gouache, which has made the strokes dense, and yet puts across the message in clearer terms than the rest of the exhibits. One of the My Heart too will find its Shore series (if it can be called a series) has the two kashtian facing each other. Its a view that will stick with you for a long time and can be interpreted in more than a couple of ways.

The titles of the other exhibits – Sowing Seeds, Celebrating Life (gouache on wasli) – carry on with the same theme and repeat the idea that life is to rejoice, to revel in, despite the many pitfalls, potholes and puddles that impede ones growth as a thinking being.