Imagery Sprouts from Indefinite Memory

“I just forgot to ask my Uncle…”
92×69 cms
Oil on Canvas

Paintings & Text by Wajahat Hussain Rather

The basic format of this composition is characterized by contrast, variety and dynamic asymmetrical balance, which strengthen the feeling generated by the individual elements. While our thoughts and feelings are often affected by images, we are not always aware why a particular response. Through these images movement and feelings respond to human experience. The stiff posture of unidentified gunman in the composition suggests insecurity and somehow the experience of this imagery sprouts from indefinite memory. The intention is not in making a story, but in constructing spatial connections between various images through their inherent associations. The compass stands for direction and range of a situation, to create a little mystery north is reversed. Two rectangular colour areas to incorporate stability to the composition.

Nude and the Road Sign
62×92 cms
Oil on Canvas

This composition is broadly a combination of verticals. This creates moralizing and unified parallels between inorganic elements and their human counter parts. Human figure in female allure where identity is not confirmed stands for unusual display. Apple represents the traditional forbidden fruit; it symbolizes disobedience and original sin, as well as willing indulgence in sensual pleasures. The road sign on the other hand stands for discipline and suggests direction. All these elements together with drawings of hat and towers create visual allegory. Colors are mostly in brighter hues. Red associates with passion and yellow with glory as their psycho visual interpretation.

122×92 cms
Oil on Canvas

Emphases are given to visual stability and harmony of images. The basic layout in horizontals and verticals depicts the ‘encased” innocence and stability of a child, which is confirmed by the closed door. The head excluding portrait and duck image add a little vagueness to the composition and eternalize our association to the surroundings. It even symbolizes the yearning to move out into free space as compared to what we generally are limited to. The image of an apple on other hand symbolizes the forbidden aspect of life, which further adds to its context.

Missing monkey performing his duty
61×76 cms
Oil on Canvas

The picture space is divided into two obvious verticals complimenting each other. The important element of figure with butterflies in the place of eyes has been objectively treated so as to enhance the visual impact of composition rather than becoming its central subject. The belief or principles as expressed in the three monkeys holds true even today. Thus topicality of the ideal, in retrospect, still retains its validity. The drawings of elements like vase, boat and sickle together impart movement to the composition. The flowers on the other hand stand for fragrance and as such enhance its subjective importance. The overwhelming use of Blue and its variations, generates a feeling of depth and mystery in the composition. Yellow stands for earth, holding every object within it.

Access Denied
29×42 cms
Oil on Canvas

The key components of this composition are verticals and diagonals. Which in combination provide stability and movement to the picture space. Primarily painting deals with the visualization of images, but somehow images are already occupied with certain convention representations. The image of a ‘smoke box’ socially retains the notion of prohibition and text ‘Access Denied’, further confirms the same. On contrary the images of butterflies represent the ‘resurrection’, because of their life cycle from pupa to mature stage. Together the butterflies and smoke box provide the composition an air of irony. The pattern of lines (i.e. Bar code) depicts the information stored and conforms to the subjectivity.

130×60 cms
Oil on Canvas

Trip-tic is a dialogue between the surfaces, the continuity of the thoughts and imagery. The elements, which are otherwise static, are dynamic here. The use of diagonals is intentional, it is meant to forward the movement. The movement thereafter reveals balance and provides the composition a serene dynamism. The vocabulary is unusual yet loaded with associations.

199×92 cms
Oil on Canvas

More attention has been laid upon objectivity rather than figuration. Photo-realistic images textured with drawings in fused surfaces, following the notion of unconventional content and gesture. On one hand the image of popular Bollywood actor and to contrast it the insignificant image of unidentified nude. This provides the composition an air of irony. The functional aspect of these images is omitted and thereafter, a new relation is established.

Wajahat Hussain Rather is a Kashmiri artist based in Rohtak. He can be reached at [email protected]

Leave a Comment