August 1, 2016 - July 31, 2017 (extended from January 31)
Ramla Fatima graduated from N.C.A national college of arts in February 2015 with major in sculpture and minor in print making and digital arts. She has participated in a few group shows around the country. She has also been selected for two artist residencies: ”B.Q (binqalandar artist residency) and VASAL international artist residency, Karachi. She currently lives and practices in Pakistan.
As a fresh graduate with just two years of practice, Ramla’s art career may appear to be on the right track – graduated from the National College of Arts, participated in an exhibition, left for an artist residency, came back and exhibited in a number of group shows, again left for a residency – the path desired and considered as successful by many of her fellow graduates.
She is however not satisfied with all this, feeling confused and having difficulty understanding the professional art circle. She does not want her artistic career to run on the usual trajectory of group shows, solo shows, residencies, and biennales etc. She wants to take a path which no one has ever followed. When she came back from her last residency, she started looking for another which would give her a new dimension and fresh perspective to her art career, but to her disappointment, all the residencies are running very similar programmes. Then she found RFAOH, which she thinks is the exact thing she was looking for and simply wanted to be part of it.
For her on-hiatus residency at RFAOH, she does not want to propose anything. She wants to sit back and think of “tasks” that are not related to her work as a sculptor; she might write a book on the issue of “the art circle in an artist’s life”. She wants to give her career a new start. She wants to begin this residency with her mind as a blank canvas.
On Jun 22 2017, co-director (m) commented on On Hiathus: The best part of hiatus is that its an open ended concept. Its like a non-declaration declaration. I[...]
In Conversation with a Vegetarian’s Sister
On my way back home from the work place I got to know during a conversation with my colleague that her younger brother is a vegetarian.
I know many people who are vegetarian; so I had no interest in his story because I was expecting the very usual reason behind that. I thought that now she would say that he must have seen a slaughtering cow or hen or he is scared of blood etc. But the reason she told me, in fact the way he had communicated the story behind he being a vegetarian was so “artistic”
She added that once when he was in grade one or two I saw a drawing in his sketchbook in which he had drawn planet earth on one corner of the page and another alien planet on the other corner of the page and all the animals like cows, buffalos , goats and chicken we jumping from earth to that planet. When she enquired what have you drawn he said that I feel so sorry for all these animals when ill grow older I will take all the animals to that planet far away from the planet earth.
While she was telling me all this I was completely lost and ever since I am imaging that drawing I so wish if I could see that. I so wanted to draw this scene by myself so that I could add in this post but later I thought that my drawing might put a full stop to everyone’s else imagination. I want who so ever reads this post should recreate this image their way.
It’s been a long time I heard anything so emotional and artistic like this. I use to work in an event management company where everyone talks about business opportunities and they are only concerned in making more and more money and nothing else. They have nothing to do neither with arts nor with feelings because in professional life you have to be immune to certain things and on the top of which are – emotions.
I have been to an old village last week named SHAH ALLAH DITTA. The village is believed to be 700 years old. It was an official trip. I have been there for a meeting with the deputy mayor of the city to propose a “one day retreat” proposal at his place i.e. a country high land club. He took us for a site visit. The club was right next to historic Buddhist caves named “shah allah ditta caves” the remains of 2,400 years old-Buddhist-era. the caves had a spring water stream in the middle. the stream water is collected in a man made pond and is being used by the local community for drinking and is believed that this water has power to heal the illness.
We were told that on the outer wall of the caves there are paintings on the red toned mud plaster. The paintings were more like drawings with the black and terracotta red paint. Unfortunately, the people who visited the place have totally vandalised paintings on the wall. Now only an eye of a human face is left to give us clue that there were some paintings on the wall. Now we only find the remains of red pottery and flaked artefacts of limestone all around the caves.
I literally have no words to explain what kind of a peaceful place it was. It was something out of this world. While everyone was busy in taking selfies I went inside the cave and sat quietly for a few while. I am putting up some Google images of this place as I haven’t taken not a single picture because camera could not capture the feelings that I was experiencing at that time. I so wished if I had a pencil or a paper to jot down what exactly was coming to my mind. I wish if I could have that much time to sit there for hours in front of the interlaces roots of old Banyan trees which were. I had decided that I will definitely write something down about it when I’ll get back home.
Now when I am sitting in my room with my laptop I have closed my eyes and I am imagining that I am sitting in that cave and wondering how Buddha could have come here, what would he be eating. I will not write something down about its history and importance because you will get enough stuff on Wikipedia about SHAH ALLAH DITTA CAVES. Rather i would like to share my own experience. The point is why so much peace here is. I am not a Buddhist I have no spiritual connection with this place then why I am feeling so much peace here. I felt the same thing when I visited a GURDWARA (Hindu worship place) two years back.
I think human- god, religion, peace is all a (stimulus-response) reaction. We human being have found our way outs in our own things i.e. we have created our own stimulus like Muslims find peace in a black empty box called Holy Kaaba, Hindus find their god in their own man-made sculptures, some find god in fir, sun etc. So it’s not the discrimination of religions it’s something completely personal. Anyways I have really enjoyed the Buddhist stimulus that was the worship place of Buddha (shah allah ditta caves).
We are organizing an event there by next week. I’ll definitely share the details with you and yes of-Course this time my own camera clicks