ISLAMABAD: Emotional speeches marked the inauguration of an exhibition honouring the works and life of the late Noor Mukadam at Pakistan National Council of the Arts (PNCA).
A large number of people including Noor’s friends, members of the diplomatic community, and art connoisseurs, civil society and women rights activists attended the event.
The exhibition titled, Noor – honouring the life and works of Noor Mukadam has been curated by Syed Jamal Shah, a noted artist, director, playwright and former director general of PNCA.
The exhibit showcases Noor’s calligraphic work and paintings. Exhibited pieces included: Al-Hamd (Praise be to God), Loh-e-Quran, Grace, Japanese garden and Freedom.
The painting of a puppy that Noor had made in 2016 with the message, “it is inhumane to kill dogs. Treat Dogs” was the main attraction. Commenting on the painting, artist and activist Fauzia Minallah said: “The painting of the puppy was my favourite. I could not hold back my tears. There is so much innocence in the puppy’s eyes. I have never met Noor or her family but her work shows what an innocent and loving woman she was”.
Rabia Amin was the host of the event. Noor’s notebook, pen and colours, palette and brushes were also displayed.
A minute of silence was observed for Noor, who was brutally murdered on July 20, 2021.
Mr Jamal Shah spoke about the spirit and essence of the exhibition and how an artist depicts his or her feelings and observation of society, the beauty and colours of the land, joys and societal ethos.
Our foremost objective is to showcase Noor’s expression of grace and humility through her art, he said.
Talking to Dawn, he said, “Noor’s work is very sensitive, sincere, and spontaneous. Her work is reflective of a being that is mindful of others, concerned about her surroundings and willing to offer her best in any situation with utmost generosity.
“The unassuming poise of exhibits will urge the onlookers to take a careful tour of the exhibition and find themselves engaged in a dialogue with Noor and reveal facets of her as an individual who had all the potential of becoming a consequential talent”.
Shaukat Ali Mukadam, Noor’s father said that the show coincided with conclusion of the 16-Days of Activism on Violence Against Women campaign.
He recalled fond memories of his daughter and her spiritual and artistic inclinations. “Her untimely death has fanned the flames of resistance and revolution for women of Pakistan as they continue to fight against gender-based violence. Her story has touched countless citizens”, he said while holding back his tears.
Mr Mukadam thanked Noor’s friends, civil society and media for their continued support in the race to get justice for Noor.
Motivational speaker Muniba Mazari said that psychological, sexual and emotional violence against women in any form and manifestation in the name of religion, culture and honour could not be justified and should be condemned. She recited Still I Rise by Maya Angelou, dedicated to Noor.
Noted human rights defender Tahira Abdullah said it was heartening to see that Noor’s parents have kept the spirit of hope alive.
“This exhibition gives the spirit of hope to all of us to fight against injustices and violence against women. The inspiration of hope is embedded in this exhibition”, she added.