Capturing the Spirit of the Forest – Muhammad Arshad
Viewing the gentle landscapes of Muhammad Arshad is balm to the troubled spirit. Here is a world of innocence where small creatures make their homes and peacocks gaze at the world from slender branches of trees in the forest glades of the Changa Manga. Here Shadows fall across the tangled grass; trees shed their leaves for autumn is the artist’s favourite season. Working at different times of the day, he discovers nuances of mood and light, a wealth of nature’s designs, and he favours trees without leaves, graceful and elegant in their uncluttered linear beauty. Arshad adeptly captures the passing time, his subject standing out against distant, soft impressions of clumps of foliage against a background of pastel skies. With apparent ease the artist creates imperceptible gradiations of merging colours. There is peace and softness in the world he discovers not the loneliness or isolation one tends to sense in the landscape paintings of artists such as Edward Hopper. Indeed it seems that the artist reminds us of a world outside the teeming, troubled cities, and evoking a comforting assurance of continuity. The pattern of nature seemingly reigns supreme, and the observer is aware of a release of unrealized tension when entering the panorama of the spacious glade.
The artist is a familiar figure with the forest keepers who live in simple shelters constructed from mud, wood and reeds. The keepers are comfortable with the artist’s presence and raise no objections when he includes them in his compositions.
A former student of the College of Art and Design, Punjab University, Muhammad Arshad considers he is fortunate to live within the precincts of the Changa Manga forest and he spends a great deal of time quietly wandering among the forest glades, there he sets up his easel or begins preliminary sketches finding constant sources of inspiration. The artist graduated with M.A.Fine Arts in 2002 and began to focus on his work.
When Anna Molka Ahmed established the Department in 1940, painting outdoors became a custom of the fine arts department. Some of finest artists of the landscape genre in the country have emerged from the college, and distinguished artists carry on the teaching traditions.
Arshad’s work has been appreciated in various group shows, national exhibitions and annual events arranged by the Artist’s Association of the Punjab. His work was seen in a solo exhibition held in 2007, and currently is mounting the second solo exhibition at the Ejaz Gallery, Lahore. There the collection of paintings displayed portray the authentic depiction of the natural world seen through an artist’s eye.
2010 Solo Exhibition “Essence of Natural Reserves” at Ejaz Art Galleries, Lahore.
2007 Solo Exhibition at Royaat Art Gallery, Lahore.
2009 “Royaat Retrospective” Group Exhibition at Royaat Art Gallery,Lahore.
2008 “National Integration Through Art” participated in two travelling exhibitions arranged by Punjab Council of the Arts, Lahore.
2007 “Master Strokes” Exhibition held at Collectors Galleria, Lahore.
2006 “Landscape & Imagination” at Royaat Art Gallery, Lahore.
2005 “Image of Pakistan” Exhibition arranged by World Bank, Islamabad.
2004 “3 Young Painters” Group Exhibition at Co-opera Art Gallery, ahore.
2003 “All About Life Style” DAWN Exhibition held at Avari, Lahore.
Participated in all Exhibitions held by “Punjab Artist Association” and “Young Artist Association of Pakistan” since 2002.
Date of Birth: 1978-06-01 in Lahore, Pakistan.
Qualification: 2002 M.A. Fine Arts College of Art & Design University of the Punjab, Lahore. 2000 B.A. Fine Arts University of the Punjab, Lahore.