Songs Of Spring - DAWN

When a painter gets inspired by another genre of art, more often than not the result is doubly delightful. And if the former intends to create a work of art on the season of new beginnings with music as their primary inspiration, then imagine how vivacious and lively the artwork would be. An exhibition of Sara Riaz Khan's paintings titled Songs of Spring opened at the Chawkandi Art Gallery on Thursday.

Naturally, spring brings to mind a colourful landscape, a breezy atmosphere. But the artist has set out to take the next step.

Here's how: Khan is looking to explore the different traditions of music and interpret them the way she's felt them. Now music is something whose magic can only be felt, and there are very few things that are more fulfilling than transforming feelings into colours. Interestingly, and therefore, the artist does not have, a one-dimensional approach to the subject.

She wants to go beyond that and conjure an ambient world where compositions keep emerging on a regular basis. How does one know that? Well, as an oil on canvas painting her exhibits are in a larger context, a celebration of life.

A word of caution though: life, with warts and all! This means if music presents all moods of existence, as it's the case with European masters who cram their compositions with ups and downs (and downs and ups) of a story, so should the paintings that are trying to construe it.

Khan does it with aplomb, which is evident from the very first oil-on-canvas piece on display. Speaking of masters, how can she overlook Beethoven? The artist's tribute to the composer is just as grand and opulent as the German genius's ideas were.

And when Khan moves from West to East there's a definite shift in tone and texture. In that category, one must mention a remarkable piece called Raag Darbari, Ustad Rashid Khan - It is impossible for the viewer to pass by the artwork without lending an ear to it (apart from looking at it). The free-flowing, dense strokes match the mellifluous

Raag Darbari of Ustad Rashid Khan.

Notes of Darbari - Oscillating, less sharp, almost nocturnal. Auditory and visual treat in a single frame! The exhibition will continue until March 11.