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March 9, 2011 / the s.a. project

when shows can be licked

In the last week or so I’ve attended some great shows that I will be discussing in detail further on in other posts. But if you’re reading this…If anyone read this at all that is!…I would like you to get up from that chair and move out towards 3 galleries in the city that have on display some FANTASTIC work. It definitely helped me get out of my own studio and back into a gallery space where I licked some truly delicious work.

  • Grey Noise – Fahd Burki, Murad Khan Mumtaz and Alyssa Pheobus
  • Al-Hamra Arts Council – Lali Khalid and Timothy Cleary
  • Rohtas 2 – Nashmia Haroon



GREY NOISE gallery

website – facebook page

26 A, KB Colony, Street 4, Airport Road, Lahore- Cantt., 5481, Lahore, Pakistan

The centre cannot hold

Sunday, February 27 at 5:00pm – March 27 at 8:00pm. Gallery timing: by appointment

A project by Fahd BurkiMurad Khan Mumtaz and Alyssa Pheobus

The centre cannot hold is a line from William Butler Yeats’ foreboding poem, “The Second Coming,” in which signs of the end proliferate while a great, destructive force stalks the earth. Through new works addressed to the schizophrenic conditions of life in the end times, Burki, Mumtaz and Pheobus consider the age of acceleration in light of the traditional paradigm constellating death, rebirth and acceptance.

The minute I walked into the show I knew I was in for a treat. I was biased of course (for my very critical readers, it’s ok to admit biases on my blog because i say so!) because I have been a devout worshiper of Fahd’s work for quite a while now. Lately, I had come to discover both Alyssa’s and Murad’s work at the MA discussions at NCA and had greatly enjoyed it. It’s safe to say that Alyssa is one of my new favourites!

Mostly monochromatic, the drawings, sculptures and paintings had a strange linear, rigid quality that seemed almost to speak a coded language. The artists had interpreted death/the end in their own personal ways, but what I liked most was that unlike other thematic shows, this one didn’t pretend to act as ‘themed show’. The curatorial note was loosely structured to fit in the concepts of the 3 artists but left enough room for further interpretation. Just the way I like to look at art.

Fahd had displayed two sculptures and a drawing (it’s in watercolour but I like to call it a drawing). From what I know, this is the first time Fahd has moved into the 3D, and it’s like the creatures in his drawings have literally walked out of the paper and into the studio. The large ‘thing’ (image on top of post) in the centre of the space was a dark big beautiful alien being. To some it was reminiscent of a casket. To others, a more mechanical object. For me it was Fahd’s creature coming out into the world.

Alyssa Pheobus - Māyā

Alyssa had displayed two absolutely phenomenal pencil drawings on paper and a miniature that she had made in a training workshop. The drawings were painstakingly done, almost print like in quality, and deeply unnerving. Alyssa said that many people found them as ‘architectural’ in quality. I guess that could be true. They reminded me very obviously of puzzles, mazes and labyrinths. (Fun fact by Alyssa: the latter 2 are different. A maze has several paths and might have more than one ‘center’, while a labyrinth has only one path and center) It was these drawings that made me want to touch them…and yes…lick them. They looked delicious.

Murad had displayed paintings in watercolour on paper that were broadly addressed as miniatures by the


Murad Khan Mumtaz - PROPHECY

viewers because of his training and background as a miniature artist and also because the visual looked like a miniature. Incidentally, his imagery has also been affected by his various moves around the world and watching several cultures fading fast. The core, though, developed in the argument back home at NCA and Pakistan that I keep talking about. The epic battle between the scions of the miniature world and the various arguments and definitions now scarring the practice permanently.


In a ‘talk with the artists’ session held several days later, Murad and Alyssa discussed how the concept had meant different things to them and perhaps the one thing that reflected in their work was the element of time. They spoke for Fahd, since he decided to play absentee, and said that his work contained an element of timelessness featuring objects like obelisks. Alyssa’s own work was directly affected by her leaving America and moving to Pakistan – in a sense discarding one side of her life and starting afresh on another. Murad’s concerns have been the changing face of culture and the losing of one’s heritage.


See more pictures at the Grey Noise fb album. Photographs courtesy Grey Noise




Lali Khalid

I also attended a show that is really worth looking into. Lali was a senior of mine at NCA in the BFA programme and Tim was my tutor at the MA programme for the last 6 months of his stay in Pakistan. Absolutely gorgeous work by both, with Lali displaying her photographs and Tim his lick-able-delicious paintings. More Details below.



website – facebook page

Gallery 3 & 4 – The Mall, Lahore

The Number and The Place 2011” by Lali Khalid


With you (What We Take) by Timothy Cleary,

are two solo shows opening at Alhamra Arts Council.

Tuesday, March 8 · 5:00pm –  March 17 at 8:00pm. Gallery timing: 9 am – 6 pm except Sundays

Tim Cleary


And finally, I’m really looking forward to the show that’s opening tomorrow. Times of Dissent is a documentary photography exhibition by a very talented and ballsy kind of woman, Nashmia Haroon, who has been doing photography for over a decade now. The work at the exhibition will follow her documentation of protests and sites of turmoil 2009 onwards. Make sure you attend her show.

I will be doing a feature on her work for the blog soon enough. So tune in…if there’s anyone there.

ROHTAS 2 gallery


156-G, Model Town, Lahore, Pakistan

Times of Dissent

Wednesday, March 9 · 5:00pm –  March 16 at 8:00pm. Gallery Timings: 11 am – 7 pm except Sundays

Nashmia Haroon


Leave a Comment
  1. Marria / Mar 9 2011 4:41 pm

    Was at Alhamra today, fell in lurve with Tim’s paintings!

  2. Rabiya Asim / Mar 10 2011 6:18 pm

    Loved the works and displays , certainly were live bursts of energy and truly inspirational.I am very much agreeing to what you have written about Alyssa ,loved her work.

  3. artkapakistan / Mar 12 2011 2:09 am

    Wish I could run to Lahore to see the work but I’m overworked and I feel like a pack-mule (branded with the NCA logo) so I’m probably going to sleep this weekend and not do anything that involves movement.
    Love the way you’ve written about the work.

    • the s.a. project / Mar 27 2011 10:24 pm

      Sleep is a good thing. I’m just beginning to realise that. a bit too late in the day but koi baat nahi.

  4. Lali Khalid / Mar 23 2011 10:15 pm

    Thank you saira! Some very good recommendations from you. I loved the show at Grey Noise.
    I could not go to Nashmia’s but it looks great from the pictures!!!

  5. Saleem Ayub / Jan 13 2014 1:29 pm

    I am a painter living and working in England. Good to see a site like this…some great work displayed.


  1. when shows can be licked | Tea Break

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