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Exploring Human Feelings
By Nadeem Zaidi
An exhibition of paintings by Aqeel Solangi at Nomad Art Gallery in Islamabad explores the layers of human feelings in a very diverse and symbolic way. Following his motto ‘Art is nothing more than the shadow of humanity’, Solangi has portrayed his concerns about the non-physical realities of life that affect all human beings equally.
All the 25 paintings on display mirror the artist’s evocative feelings about people, places, and events from various chapters of life around him. Instead of using figurative images, he has opted for symbolic presence.
He is more concerned about time and memory and loves to explore non-physical realities and human feelings through the depiction of physical layers. Based on the floral motifs with deep red and ocher background, he portrays his apprehension about moments in time and realism. According to him, the layers of print give him the impression of some one’s presence.
Working with mixed media on paper, oil and marble dust on gesso panel, acrylic and egg tempora, opaque, vasli, and gum tempera, Solangi has also used his creative innovation in three of his works by using wood cut technique to get an embossed effect.
Solangi has used flowers in elliptical light and round shapes symbolising the moon and the sun, which he thinks are metaphors for something rising. The surprising uses of white flowers, especially periwinkles, which can be seen in almost all of his paintings, are used as a symbol of time.
Currently Solangi is teaching at NCA (Rawalpindi campus) as an Assistant Professor in the department of Fine arts and also running his own studio for drawing and painting classes at Harley Street, Rawalpindi.
He was awarded the 2006 Young Talent Award by Pakistan National Council of the Arts (PNCA) and is also the recipient of NCA/VITA-Charles Wallace Pakistan Trust Art Bursary in 2006 to spend a term at the Prince’s School of Traditional Arts, London.
Untitled, Oil on canvas, 24”x39”, 2008