LAHORE - A group exhibition titled ‘Ijtima’ featuring the artwork of ten artists started at Alhamra Arts Gallery on Wednesday.  

The themes of the paintings were all about re-righting the gender image which comes from a strong urge to reflect on the prejudices in our society.

The artwork of Huma Mulji, Hurmat Ul Ain, Mehr Javed, Sara Mumtaz, Mary Mazziotti, Latifa Attaii, Gopa Trivedi, Sakina Akhbar, Mamoona Riaz and Abdul Moeez were put on display.

Talking about her work, artist Sakina Akbar said: “My work is based on the constantly existing phenomena of gender inequality in the world around me. Women issues and factors of inequality is a matter repeatedly discussed but not truly resolved”. 

She added that the triptych series of artwork presented here was based on her personal perspective of the issue. It gives an insight on the core evolvement of the issue in unconscious minds of both genders at their early developmental stages. “I have depicted the male character through symbolism. It’s a high contrast series identifying the imbalances and grey areas of our society,” she said.

Sarah Mumtaz’s work is based on ballpoint with sticker. “My work is about constant change that is happening in my mind. It’s just like every time you wake up and you are total different thing, the metamorphosis happening in your head, it’s like something dies every time and something new is born which is more beautiful but it’s now explainable, or need not to be explained,” she explained. 

Describing her work, Huma Mulji said, “Monkey performances in cities of Pakistan is a common scene almost every day, the parodies often mixed legacies of colonial and military regimes, the monkeys continue to salute persistently.”

“These absurd performances touch upon poignant issues of class, authority, nation’s aspirations and its failures. The monkey playing the joker, the clown, the teller of thinly veiled truth, the “bhaand ” of commercial theatre. 

“The monkeys are dressed in mock world fashion: dark glasses with bright pink frames, frilly dresses, and more recently, dyed hair, shaved heads and faces, and other accessories, and beg for money in exchange for saluting drivers of cars at traffic lights,” she said.

Mary Mazziotti an American visual artist making contemporary 'memento mori' primarily in textiles said, “My genre of artwork reminds us of the ephemeral nature of life, nations and human endeavors. “In this series I use the medium of hand-embroidery traditionally a homely, domestic art on delicate vintage linens to convey a short, pithy and universal message,” she said.

Mamoona Riaz from National College of Arts (NCA) said, “My work is on the idea of women’s place. Every woman is empowered or enslaved has her own place, whether small or important and she can never be devoid of her importance,” Mamoona said.