Oman times 1- the start.

I went to Lahore to find him. Over the course of the years, I lost my father. I could not remember him. I could not remember a good moment, a smile… nothing. I found his youth, his passion, his memories and his love in Lahore. My pieces depict moments of him, Lahore.. I imagine he walked the streets I walked, smelt the air I smelt and felt the same sensation as I did when I visited Lahore. I don’t feel this at his grave.
The artworks are haphazard, like my emotions, completely volatile. The mediums are reflective, calm and gestural. They are pieces of my father in me, from me.

I am standing in a sea of 400 people at the Bait Al Zubair Museum, Oman. Been graciously invited by Mr G himself, you can imagine my shock when he inaugurates the Omani Cancer Foundation 100 x 100 exhibition with my artist statement. I look like a beautiful mess.
20140204_122454In Bahrain, humidity attacked my hair so it went from curly to fro- I took drastic measures, straightened my hair in the Dilmun Lounge at the airport. I changed in a bathroom cubicle in the museum and did my makeup in less than three minutes. I walked out thinking, I did it.. I am composed. Until the speech started.
I felt a lump in my throat and my tears starting to slowly swell up. The gentleman next to me is already crying cause he remembers his mother. She died from cancer. I look around me and I realize everyone here has been affected by cancer. They feel my pain.
Selfie Time!!!… perhaps one of the few times I’ve ever taken a selfie….
I meet this lady who is oddly wearing a shalwar kameez- she is not from Pakistan and she is with a man who is wearing a light blue suit with a hat. We start talking and I explain to her that I have flown in from Bahrain to exhibit three pieces which are dedicated to my father. I tell her about how I flew back to Lahore to find my father and how I have no happy memory of him.
Ribbon is cut- the sea moves in. I’m trying to find my work. Three paintings in watercolor, gouache, pen, ink and outliner mounted on deep blue boards sizing 50 by 50 cm. I find them tucked away behind a column and I get pissed off– they should have been in the front. I try not to get upset. I should be gracious, i’m exhibiting outside of Bahrain. I take a walk around to see.
Every wall has this sadness with it- artists are waiting to be asked about their loved ones- they want to miss them. Some art is serene and peaceful like they have accepted this loss and some are chaotic and visually upsetting- I guess they are angry. I’m back at my column and I see three red dots next to my works.
20140204_203802turned out- that really cute couple I was talking to outside were so intrigued by my search for my father- they immediately went to my work and purchased it. They were standing there waiting for me. she said…’I…I bought your work’… I hugged her, gave her a kiss and starting crying.
she took a piece of my spirit. I left to the airport and was on cloud number nine. No, I was not emotionally rapped this time. I was charged. I had a new found energy and boost to my ego.
A stranger loved my art.

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