Taskeen Zahra chats with the uber talented, emerging artist, Noormah Jamal about the upcoming exhibition at the Paint Bucket Gallery and her ardent love affair with art.
When did you decide you wanted to become an artist?
Pretty early on really. But it was something that I flirted with for a while. In the middle I was contemplating doing law instead but ultimately I knew that art was something that I would love exploring further.
What is your background and qualifications?
I took A level art. But before applying to NCA I took a three week drawing course at Hunerkada in Islamabad for the entry test because honestly speaking before that I was never taught the requirements of observational drawing.Â At NCA I graduated with honors in Miniature art.
Tell us a little about your creative process. How do you begin a new piece? HowÂ does the title come to you?
I get bored very easily. So for me to start something I need to be inspired. Recently I’ve been doing a lot of portraiture so for that , firstly I need to find a face that I find visually interesting enough to want to paint. I photograph the individual first. After the basic drawing I don’t use the reference. The treatment of the skin/hair/clothing is something I decide as I’m painting simultaneously. Any symbolism I use is in direct relation to the subject of my work.
And once the work is done I actually look at the visual I’ve created till the tittle comes to me.
When do you know a piece you are creating is finished?
When I’m visually content with it. To some people they might not always think my work is complete but for me I feel the treatment of the painting speaks volumes and a simple wash at times is enough.
What is your favourite medium and why?
I actually much prefer sculpture and moulding clay to anything else. There’s a certain satisfaction that I feel in that medium.
What kind of thoughts do you endeavor to deliver through your pieces? What doÂ you want your audience to take from your pieces?
My work is about human complexity and the baggage that people carry. I have found that people take various meaning out of my work and that’s what I prefer. I don’t want my work to dictate one thing. I’d rather the viewer take whatever they might out of it.
What is your favourite piece and why?
There isn’t just one. I have a sort of love hate relationship with most of my pieces. But my favourite would be a lithograph I made titled ‘ one tree hill’.
“One Tree Hill”
Does it hurt you to sell the pieces you love?
Honestly I thought it would. You do develop a certain attachment to your work but once it sells you feel kind of appreciated so it makes up for it I guess.
Who are some of your favourite artists?
Too many to jot down really. Though some would be Yayoi Kusama, Jenny saville and Freud.
What are your plans for the future? What are you working on right now?
I’ve recently moved to lahore and am currently working on new work that hopefully soon I’ll get a chance to showcase.
Tell us a little about your upcoming exhibition hosted by the Paint Bucket.
The more you work the more your work seems to grow. The works I’m exhibiting I feel do just that. It’s a sort of metamorphoses from my thesis show to this point. Other than that I’m glad I’m participating in the show as the other artists I’ll be exhibiting with are super talented.
If you could gift a piece to anyone, which piece would it be and to whom?
I already did. I made a painting of one of my dogs that my mother treats more like a child. So I gave it to her to put on her side table.
Noormah Jamal will be showcasing her art pieces in “BECOMING”, the latest group show by the Paint Bucket Gallery in Gulberg, on Friday 29th April from 5-7 pm. Be sure not to miss her brilliant work that is truly reflective of the talent that she possesses. WE ARE ALREADY A FAN!