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Return to roots

Fatima's art with its accent on economy is all about soul

`KNOW THYSELF' is what the ancient Greek sophists believed in. For Fatima Zehra this philosophy is almost religion. Her exhibition of collages titled `Grassroots' at the Kalakriti Art Gallery, Banjara Hills, is her first ever solo show. Fatima who lives in Bangalore, which helped her get in touch with the "fastidious, erratic dissident" in her, was a student of the JNTU and worked on this series for nearly six months. "The collage is the best suited medium for my temperament as an experimental artist. In a world flooded with make-believe, glitz, glamour and camouflaged reality I present the fallacy of contemporary life through my collages. It's an attempt to show how far we have strayed from our values," says Fatima.

Her art is free from all material involvement - it's all paper, Indian ink and pen. Mysterious, pure and intimate, her colour perception is, without any doubt, her personal spiritual quest. Her collages are renunciations of recognisable images. Her ideas use frugal means and dispense with extravagance altogether. Moods, egos and even death - all express themselves without ceasing to be mysterious. As you walk through the gallery, her art is a constant translation of all her emotions into convincing pictorial sensations. Pruned and pared, Cult Objects has fashionable legs in sandals and diamonds that mock at the false glitter of life on the ramp. Along with the distorted face in Global Souls is a message - our whimsical search for materialism. Rugged Faith is an opening. Colour rushes through the Charminar, like an elusive emotion even as other colours denote strength. The subtle organisation of values is evident through various formations - cloud fragments, blades of grass, paper strips, columns and above all, the black frames. Fatima loves mirages - the presence of shadow in light, which is best seen in Dead Leaf, which is a metaphor for our decadent society. But then again there is a second chance in Second Hand.

Open and transparent, Fatima in her collages takes creativity on a precarious ride while maintaining absolute harmony in compositional balance. The exhibition is open till January 28 between 10.30 a.m. and 7 p.m.


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