Shazias Play With Clay

DATED: 30 DEC 2000

Chawkandi Art mounted an exhibition of ceramic pieces by Shazia Zuberi recently.

For her personal expressions, Shazia feels at ease with clay and when she runs her hand to shape clay into figures, her lines are similar, and at times, exactly the same that she draws with brush on paper. Her exhibition at Momart exactly 26 months back also carried some of her drawings. One could see a lot of similarity between the two. Shazia claims that all her pieces are hand-made. She thinks the use of moulds in the process is cheating. In this case clay seems to be like an obedient servant in her hands as some of her figures are assembled from two to three pieces that fit snugly like the excavated bones from the ruins. Built with fine blended coils her figures are animated even in their stillness. The head, which has been reduced to a small detachable pebble, sits on a cavity that serves as a neck. The placing and tilts of the heads indicate attitudes of human life. The attributes of pride, agony, meaninglessness of beings rather than clay. Her fondness for dance is obvious in the figures she draws. One sees aerobatic figures on her pots. Her figures on pots are reminiscent of the pottery found in the ruins of the Indus Valley: but Shazias figures are fast in movement and give flying impressions.

Islamabad-based Shazia has many facets of her artistic talent. She gives vent to her feelings and thoughts through paints, pots and drawings as well as Kathak, Bharatnatyam and contemporary dance. She has been fascinated by clay since her childhood. At the age of 13, when she was in a boarding school, in her art class she had the experience of ceramics. While at college, she did short duration courses in the subject. She actually realised, her calling when she was studying economics at Allegheny University, Pennsylvania, USA. Her minor subject in B.A. was art with emphasis on figure drawing and ceramics. Her first exhibition in ceramics and sculpture was held at Nations Art Gallery in Islamabad in 1990. She displayed her works at Allegheny College. USA in l992. She paints also and and her paintings were exhibited at Art Gallery, Islamabad in 1995. Karachians saw her ceramics at VM Art Gallery and at an art festival at a local hotel. Her solo show was held at Mom art as well. Presently, she has her own studio in Islamabad, where she is assisted by three painters and two potters. She makes her own glazes.