ISLAMABAD- The exhibition titled ‘Art for Climate Change’ which was inaugurated by President Arif Alvi at the National Art Gallery two months ago, reopened at Gallery6, with Spanish Ambassador Manuel Duran as the chief guest.

Pakistan is one of the top-ten most vulnerable countries with respect to climate change, and realizing the seriousness of the issue, gallery6 took up the challenge and in August, 2018, the gallery6 in collaboration with the Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation, invited painters, photographers and filmmakers to travel and observe the effects of the climate change. This was done to facilitate development of paintings, photographs, sculptures, documentaries, and blogs on climate change and other environmental issues.   The artworks on display highlighted several issues.

 The artist, Fakhra Asif has drawn attention towards spread of garbage. The oil on canvas depicts those mountain areas, which are still beautiful for tourists, but being haphazardly loaded with garbage by visitors.

 Fakhra Asif was born in 1994 in Lahore. She is a figurative artist, with a preference for oil painting. In her childhood she used to paint on the walls of her room, which ultimately grew her interest in painting. Her initial interest in human anatomy in school took an interesting turn in later years, when she started studying Fine Arts at Queens Marry College (2013) in the intermediate level. She graduated in Fine Arts from College of Art and Design, Punjab University in 2017.

Her curiosity for figurative art became her fascination and she did her thesis with the title “Paint the Pait (belly)”. For which she painted nudes focusing on the torso of fat bulky bodies. To date she has participated in 5 group shows.    

 Her paintings titled ‘Creating new Mountain’ and ‘Rain of Disater’ depicts that the tourists carrying a lot of plastic materials (water/soda bottles, wrappers of chips and biscuits, shopping bags, etc.), which are neither biodegradable nor environment-friendly but how nature is being invaded with the passage of time and with the pressure of increasing ignorant population.

 In the artist statement, she said, our environment is changing and is worsening day by day. In this art retreat, I observed that we humans are playing a big role in spoiling it. During travel to scenic sites, tourists carry a lot of plastic materials (water/soda bottles, wrappers of chips and biscuits, shopping bags, etc) that are neither biodegradable nor environment friendly. Also these areas do not have desired cleaning system. If throwing of plastic material continues, we are likely to loose our magnificent natural environment and our future generations will only see these in pictures of the past. In my artwork, I have painted lake Saif ul Maluk, replacing one of the mountain with plastic bottles. I want to sound a warning that if we keep throwing plastics, we might hide our mountains behind them and then places will be lost - we need to act NOW!, she urged.