In one canvas,the setting autumn sun shines on the Dal lake in 1945,while another has bright pink almond blossoms overlook a group of Kashmiris sitting on mats eating,smoking and talking near Hariparbat in 1952. Contrary to the conflict-ridden art that surfaces from the Valley now,an ongoing exhibition at Art Heritage connotes an entirely different era that reflects the intimacy between the Valley and its people. These have been created by Almast Kashmiri aka Dina Nath Walli,who is known for his watercolour landscapes of Kashmir. Wallis retrospective is a part of an exhibition called Kasheer/Kashmir: The Other Pastoral. Wallis works contribute to the three-part series of a large retrospective show of artists who have painted Kashmir.
The second artist in the series is Kishori Kaul,whose works have been showcased by Art Heritage gallery since the 80s. Her paintings come from the memories of Kashmir that have remained with her. Though she has painted portraits,she is known for depicting Kashmirs lush vegetation and topography in impressionistic style, says Amal Allana,director of Art Heritage. From a collection of 50 works,35 of which are on display,some such as Outburst (1998) and Lotus Pond (2001) flaunt an extravagant burst of colours on Kashmirs flora.
Coming up is a group show with artists such as Rajinder Tiku and Masood Hussain. The third part of the series will have a wide range of artists who have depicted Kashmir in their paintings. It will be a more political show with a lot of controversial points about the state and with a different sense of loss being depicted by the artists, says Allana.
Kasheer/Kashmir: The Other Pastoral I and II is on at Art Heritage,Triveni Kala Sangam,till November 14. Contact: 23719470