By Abdullah Rana
Islamabad: What comes to mind when you wake up in the morning? Clear images, or abstract thoughts? Buoyant faces, or empty, shattered visages? Blue skies, or the darkest grey thunderstorms?
What rings in your ears? Is it the silvery voice of a loved one, sweet as a bell in the woods? Or the grim silence of reality is just too deafening?
What makes you get out of bed? Your favourite breakfast item that you just can’t miss, or the basic survival instinct doing its trick?
For some people, the nightmares begin after they wake up from their slumber. After the actuality of their lives creeps up on their bodies like the vines of wisteria in an abandoned hut. Living right among us, such people have perfected the art of blending right in.
They do not seem foreign, nor does their presence raise any eyebrows. Yet, they are always there. Carving their way through the mountain of responsibilities that are upon them.
There’s nothing more captivating than an artist who knows how to communicate through their art, and while it is the thought and effort that counts, Syeda Unab Sumble has the ability to execute her vision to immaculate precision with her work.
Her hauntingly beautiful effort of putting the neglected segments of our society on display has been lauded not only by art lovers around the country but also by the judges of Arjumand Painting Award 2019, who rendered her the winner, with the 1st prize of Rs200,000. Oh, and the trophy was ‘Chef’s Kiss’.
Unab’s thorough attention to details, blended with the diligent colour schemes and hyperrealism, is enough to grab the audience’s attention, leaving them in awe.
Flowing through her stream of consciousness, we could feel the slowly dissolving backgrounds: Of strollers and their indifference to unspoken tragedy. Of lucid boundaries and fleeting reassurances. Of objects that shined more than others, and of eyes that could never tell the difference.
A rickshaw driver roaming through the streets, riding past buildings that, unlike his own existence, are tall and majestic. A corn-seller with his spirits not as vibrant as the sun he stands under. The back seat of a chingchi bearing witness to the millions of surrendered dreams. Men with their absent, brooding eyes that barely conceal the worlds within.
And yet, every single day, with those grey, muted tones of their own, they add beaming colours to the society’s canvas… It wouldn’t be an overstatement to say that in Unab Sumble, we are witnessing the emergence of an insightful, sublime and intimate artist.