For Afza Tamkanat, a postgraduate in fine arts from Hyderabad Central University, art is like a tradition which she has naturally adapted to. As a child, she would linger around her father, well-known artist Fawad Tamkanat; and it is from him that she inherited an innate love for painting and expression.
A series of her works, which are getting exhibited this month at the Art Fair, Singapore are largely inspired by her past experiences. Visual memories as well as interesting corners of her beloved city, Hyderabad get affectionately mentioned in her art. Strong, characteristic vintage cars and fleeting moments picked up from the old city, like an old man savouring a sip of tea and a group of tiny sparrows, are some of the interesting visuals that get recreated in her work.
For the present show, Afza has worked on acid-free paper with coffee and water colours. The realistic rendering in shades of white, sepia and brown creates an interesting space, which is subtle and sensitive. And yet, the lack of iridescence in a way enhances the intensity and strength of the moment depicted. The subdued colour palette supports the viewer to enter a realm of real fantasy. At the same time, a silhouetted cluster comprising architectural drawings that run in a rhythmic style in some sections of the works, infuse a streak of surrealism to the expression.
The entire series of paper works imbibes an essence of nostalgia for treasured memories. While talking about this unanimous aspect in her works, Afza explains, “My work originates and evolves from my visual memory. The cars too, like my other works, have a relation with my childhood reminiscences. With the symbolic presence of the car, I recall the string of sweet memories attached to it. Even the little sparrows that frequently appear in my paintings are like a doorway to my treasured moments.”