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Visual allegories

Posted September 12th, 2018, 10:46 AM IST

Visual allegories

Working on a series of works which will be displayed in a show at The Affordable Art Fair in New York, artist Afza Tamkanat was in Hyderabad last week. Presently settled in Australia, she gave finishing touches to the paintings that she had started working on when she was in Sydney.

“I am discovering and getting to know the new country gradually and am very ecstatic to find that there are some similarities between Hyderabad and Sydney. Although there are more diversities than similarities, my eye is always looking for architectural structures, natural elements and other aspects that are similar to my beloved hometown,” says Afza, adding, “I am very happy to find that many people in Australia are fond of collecting vintage cars and also love driving them. I have been working on old, exquisite cars from a long time and inspired by some that I came across in Sydney, I have recreated them in my work.”





Afza has been working with her hallmark rendering which is characteristic of old, weathered and yellowed-with-time kind of endearing photographs. An extension of her earlier works, the present series amalgamates myriad visual allegories absorbed from the old city of Hyderabad. The artist’s gaze into the world of the unknown and unnamed strangers and their reflections onto her medium of expression gives the common people a heroic prominence and spotlight. While trespassing through the streets around Charminar, the kind of instances and visual imagery that the traveller gathers get celebrated with all their charms in the works. The treatment of the surface is sensitive and the colour palette subtle and serene. Sepia grants the works an archaic and exquisite essence. An old man with a cherished cup of Irani tea in one painting and another one with a man surrounded by a group of pigeons make for picturesque and intriguing visual experiences.

There are also some paintings which are based on her fresh experiences gathered from Australia. “The one with white window panes and a group of sprightly sparrows is inspired by my surroundings in Sydney. I am excited about the kind of changes that will take place in my work as I gradually spend time in a new country. Transitions if any, will happen in a natural and organic manner, as of now I am cherishing the images of Hyderabad which are an integral part of my expression,” says Afza.

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