This exhibition - In the Absence of Shadows – seamlessly blends Veeda Ahmed’s Indo-Pakistani painterly tradition with her Western artistic training. The works on display show a departure from her previous paintings by exploring the idealised worlds and forms found in Persian, Mughal and Pahari paintings. Veeda Ahmed contemplates how traditional painters mastered the thickness of the line in order to create the illusion of depth in the absence of shadows. The use of shading (pardakht), dots (nuqtas) and lines (lakeerain) practiced in traditional miniature painting is demonstrated across her works, while in some newer works, she combines the infinite repetition of Islamic geometry and patterns with the same techniques used in Quranic illuminations. Thus, by taking a new direction, the artist has mastered the line; the paintings demonstrate a harmonious expression of her skill and understanding of these art forms.
Sadly, today’s craftsmen often use non-traditional and synthetic materials. However, Veeda Ahmed employs the finest materials and pigments, often painstakingly grinding them herself, thus, keeping the traditions and skills of the master practitioners alive. Consequently, Veeda Ahmed has continued to honour tradition whilst advancing the knowledge and implementation of her own practice.
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