A phrase commonly used to ward off evil from envious persons (including oneself) Chashme Baddoor opens itself to countless interpretations in this unique show of prints. Curiously, this phrase is used in many contexts; both as a blessing and a prayer, as well as a form of sarcasm; thereby lending itself as an umbrella under which varied modes of printmaking and insights are offered by these 17 artists. The exhibition not only expands on the linguistic values of these two Persian / Urdu words, but the medium of print too has been explored in fascinating possibilities. From the ordinary talisman (Nazar Battoo) found swinging from bumpers of new cars, to the healing properties of streams (Chashmay), humourous digs at beautifying oneself be one human or bovine, tender portraits of the youngest and eldest amongst us whom we as a society treasure for their innocence and wisdom, embossed images with a new take on Minimalism and on the nature of the printed word, swathes of lonely landscape, tombstone markers, graveyards, offset by companionship amongst compartment sharers on a train; are some of the diverse interpretations these artists have brought to their work.

Many of the artists participating in the Chashme Baddoor project have long-standing, professional connections with the art of Printmaking. This band of printmakers has continued to remain true to their medium of choice throughout their careers, spanning the long and short end of the last two decades. As an art educator, I used to work with all these amazing artists in different times of my teaching career, which established a personal bonding and a great working relationship with all of them. I am also anxiously looking forward to seeing their amazing works, together, in one exhibition that is Chashme Baddoor.

They are all graduates of the NCA Printmaking Department- The Cowasjee Print Studio.

 

MUHAMMAD ATIF KHAN