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  Life   Art  13 Jan 2017  An ode to paradise

An ode to paradise

Published : Jan 13, 2017, 7:04 am IST
Updated : Jan 13, 2017, 7:04 am IST

Artist Zargar Zahoor in his recent exhibition captures the beauty of the Kashmir valley from his old memories and recent encounters.

Works on display at the exhibition at Lalit Kala Akademi till January 15.
 Works on display at the exhibition at Lalit Kala Akademi till January 15.

The pristine fresh snow, the russet chinars in autumn, the gliding oar on water, and the hum of life... artist Zargar Zahoor through his landscape paintings captures the beauty of Kashmir with the undertone of conflict the Valley has been facing for the past four decades.

Titled ‘Chromatic Harmonies’, Zahoor paints images of his hometown from his ‘subconscious memories as and when he was a child’.   “I have been away from Kashmir since the ’70s but somehow the beautiful landscape captivates my memory till now. I never sit down with the sole aim to paint the Valley. All these images which I portray on the canvas emerge from my subconscious memories,” shares the artist.


Zahoor’s brushstrokes merge the earth, water and sky to bring alive the flower filled hills touched by the golden hues of sun rays. “While I began painting I took both my personal experiences and of those living in Kashmir,” states Zahoor.  

The artist who recently retired from the post of Dean of the Arts Faculty, Jamia Milia Islamia, feels that he is living a life of exile and wants to go back to Srinagar and re-live his childhood days. Talking about the picturesque Valley, he says, “In cities we lead a mechanised life that at times is very suffocating but in Kashmir we get fresh air to breathe.”


He adds, “Things have changed drastically in the Valley. Presently, there is so much unrest that one can not appreciate the surrounding beauty.”

He did shift to Srinagar after his retirement but was unable to connect with the Valley as it is now. He shares, “Those six months were hell on earth for us. The darkness engulfs you and makes you feel a prisoner in your own house.”

The exhibition features around 25 works, of which 15 were created during his stay in Srinagar. “Though I have used vibrant hues on the canvas, on closer look one can find the undertones of conflict,” states Zahoor.

There is such complexity yet substantial beauty in his work that viewers will be left spellbound, states art critic Uma Nair. Talking about his work she says, “Each work comes with a distinct and piquant illumination and yet no general light falls in any particular direction. Approaching the landscape in a spirit of tenderness and humility, he is the poet of ephemeral transience. Zahoor is an artist of atmospheres, illuminating his technique and love for nature with every stroke.”

Tags: kashmir valley, art, srinagar