Mrs Universe Asia Queen 2019 Dr. Naavnidhi K wadhwa inaugurated Tabassum’s Art Exhibiton Nostalgia at Jahangir Art Gallery fort, Mumbai. “It was in an art camp that I saw Tabassum’s work for the first time. I was intrigued by her deft handling of themes as well as her use of materials. I could see that her chosen subjects are birds and animals—evoked in their different moods and forms. Some are playful and feisty, while others are foreboding and mysterious”, Said Naavnidhi.
Usually we see birds as light and joyful beings of mellow temper, and associate them with a celebration of hope, or the freedom of flight. Some pets and other animals, even in their wild state, may amuse us. In Tabassum’s art, however, they acquired a somewhat different appearance and significance. Their corporeal state, at times, seems overloaded, burdensome, broken and even tortured. Tabassum brings out the emotional intensity of her themes in coarse, straw-like lines.
She finely delves into the warp and weft of their pain, fear, the occasional joy and more frequent bleakness. One may also be reminded of certain issues of our troubled times—relating to environment and violence. The red blotches at places represent corpuscles strewn here and there. Her circumscription of the images, assimilating various moods, is most arresting.
The wound-inflicting fangs and claws, and preys erratically moving away, are a reminiscent of the constant struggle for survival. The pony’s wings are not yet fully articulated, but the pressure bows it down.Various creatures and critters have been set adrift—with pulsating, euphoric energy, yet a strange wave of stillness covers them.
To view these images offered in black and white, and in colours as well, is to find oneself pausing and pondering over the fabric and patterns of existence itself.
The way Tabassum creates and recreates her visual vocabulary, is a treat to watch. Even the ruins in her works are enlivening. To treat life in its multiple dimensions and aspects is always a challenging task in literature and arts, and it is most heartening to see Tabassum taking up this challenge with verve.