Maheen Niazi

Maheen Niazi

City: Lahore

Title: Untitled

Medium: Gouache on Wasli

Size: 20″ x 30″

Price: PKR 60000

Description: The closing of Kaaba and other mosques in the prevailing pandemic situation has dominantly affected the worshipers. It has given rise to the hopelessness among people. Local mosques suspending daily and Friday Congregational prayers for the prevention of COVID-19 spread. Meanwhile closure of Kaaba has raised immense fear among worshipers and gave birth to various speculations. The sacred place has been sealed off for the outside world. My work revolves around the isolation of these places; the feeling of emptiness and desolation. We, as a society, have a complex belief system which is driven by lack of awareness, exposure and blind following. This idea is reflected in my work through my use of baseless structures that seem to be suspended with no proper foundation, indicative of how literally and figuratively baseless our logic around static ideas of religion and culture are. It also serves as a visual analogy depicting how hollow we can be within, with no rational ground or footing. These compositions are closely woven to portray the complexity in our society and the fragile nature of these structures represents the delicacy of the situation. Suff and prayer caps in neon green against a black background are used as metaphors to comment on religious propagation and practices. The repetitive lines in circular forms within the cap evoke my thoughts about insignificant ritual and repetition in our society. This repetitive quality also generates a dialogue on how we are bound to certain notions and continuously go around in circles around them.

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