Rawalpindi - An exhibition of paintings by 20 women artists titled ‘Symphony of Soul’ depicting the feminist feel, vision and passionate expression of women’s agony was inaugurated Tuesday at Rawalpindi Arts Council (RAC) in connection with the 4th National Women at Work Festival — an annual public advocacy and outreach event of Development Communications Network (Devcom-Pakistan) — to commemorate the International Womens Day.

The exhibition was inaugurated by PML-N MNA Tahira Aurangzeb and a well-known artist Tasneem Abbas. The participating artists were Nahida Raza, Farah Adnan, Riffat Ara Baig, Beenish Azam, Shaheena Mir, Farwa Batool, Syeda Sadaf, Ammara Shakir, Fatima Ilyas, Zara Qamar, Andleeb Tabassum, Semeen Farrukh Alam and some female students from Islamia University Bahawalpur and Rawalpindi Arts Council.

MNA Tahira Aurangzeb termed the exhibition a real spirit of women feelings. Pakistani women are no less in creativity and aesthetics, but their work needs to be mainstreamed at national and international forums, she said appreciating the RAC for imparting skills to young women.

Tahira Auranzeb termed National Women at Work Festival a grand milestone in promoting the women development and empowerment agenda. She said Devcom-Pakistan is doing a great job without any donor funding, and this example of dedicated work should be adopted by the other organisations too.

Tasneem Abbas urged the artists to groom the young ones to promote the thematic work. It is time to do more thematic work than making flowery exhibits. Women artists’ work is very strong and bold in nature, and tells the stories of the soul of womanhood that is never well-understood, she said. The oil on canvas paintings by Nahida Raza reflects the social burden the young women carry all their life. She says it is unnecessary to suppress the identity of women in the name of so-called honour and social values.

Farah Adnan said the women are the most sensitive segment of society and their potential can help create a peaceful social structure if given confidence to bring about a change. She says, “My artwork reflects the suppressed dialogue that may not happen in real world between the women and those who run the affairs.”

The rhythm of vibrant colours and creative ethos make a wonderful combination for Riffat Ara Baig to express the world of emotions and happening around herself. The nature painter has let herself to explore another contemporary medium for her recent artwork and that is etching on paper. Her extremely powerful art pieces invite the art lovers aesthetical intuition to guess the emotional deficit in the man-woman relationship and with the surroundings.

Graduated from the University of the Punjab in 1995, Riffat Ara Baig has shown her creative genius while portraying the feminine emotions, the incomplete and unfulfilled aspirations. The expressionistic figurative and powerful abstract images inspire the aesthetics of onlooker and also provoke to explore more out of it.

Munir Ahmed, Executive Director Development Communications Network (Devcom-Pakistan) and the founder of the festival, said women art is more inspirational and also influences the life. The work presented in the exhibition shows the strength and creativity of womanhood. “We need to understand the womanhood if we like to have a peaceful society.”