Islamabad - An exhibition featuring new works of a Karachi-based sculptor and painter Abdul Jabbar Gull opened here at Khaas Art Gallery on Tuesday.

A unique collection of ten art pieces including wall-based and freestanding sculptures has been put on display at the exhibition titled “Musing on the Self.” Gull graduated from National College of Arts, Lahore, in 1996 and majored in sculpture.

His sources of inspiration are diverse. Humanity, spiritual beliefs, politics, human beings, symbols, signs and artifacts of varied approaches and different moods appear to be motivating the artist to explicate the mysteries and melancholy of the ordinary men through his works.

In an untitled art piece put on show, Gull appears to be externalising an early life romance with the writing slate, which is embraced by a couple of flowers. Replicas of the iconic stamps of the Indus Civilisation are reflecting imagery of mythic bulls that, once, epitomised fertility, might, logistics, security and economic stability. It chronicles antiquity with additional signs that symbolise the hierarchy of the status of various individuals.

Another art piece titled ‘Paradise’ with strong motifs is an entrapment of traditions, dreams, wishes and rituals in an invincible metallic structure. Though an abstract piece of artwork, it can also be visualised as a sculpture having image of an ordinary man in the centre, which is surrounded by the beauties of the nature in abundance. Satisfactory sophist soul becomes epicentre of the space and turns into an infinite source of inspiration for itself and its surroundings.

‘Game,’ another artwork is a portrayal of various schools of thought or religions in a novel way. Embodied in smoothly carved human figures, it looks as if these forces have joined hands with the elements of stagnation and status quo to strangulate the spirit of an ordinary man.

In a statement about the works of Gull, Marjorie Husain, a leading art critic, said, “One of the great pleasures in viewing Abdul Jabbar Gull’s work is the sense of the artist’s presence. The viewer is aware that he is a sculptor who relishes the processes of his art, carving, moulding, and handling his medium with sensual pleasure as he creates the simple, direct and vital forms that are the sculptor’s signature work. In the recent, superbly worked collection he has continued the personal involvement that is central to his art. He is one of the `ordinary’ men represented in his art.” Husain further said, “His work reminds the observer that they too are part of nature and humanity emerging from a common source.

Gull’s extensive work in Africa and the recent sculpture symposium in Korea have widened his views of the choices man has, to tread the path of materialism or seek spiritual guidance and understanding as a key element in life.”

Gull is recipient of several awards including National Excellence Award for sculpture by Pakistan National Council of the Arts and Punjab Artist Association Award for Sculpture. The exhibition will run through October 18 daily except Sundays from 11:30am to 06:30pm.