Lahori Artist Exhibits Modern-Day Ancient Pottery

A new exhibition at the Color Art Gallery in Gulberg 2, Lahore, features seventy one pieces of antique-style pottery made over the last twenty-five years. The artist, Sheherzade Alam, uses gold leaf, inks, acrylic pigments and glazing to create handmade clayware inspired by ancient potters.

Alam, 64, explains that her art comes from a fascination with ancient pottery from all over the world.

“I have examined the claywate of every culture: Greek, Chinese, Egyptian, Harappan and Mohenjodaro,” she said. “The bulbous female figure, prominent in the clayware of many ancient cultures, was the starting point for my work…It is considered a symbol of fertility.”

Though her art has been displayed across the globe, Alam’s art has a meaningful local connection.

“I believe I am a Harrappan. I prefer colors that reflect Pakistani culture, especially the domes and minarets I saw as a Lahori. If someone asked me to create a traditional Japanese bowl, I could not, as it is not me,” she said.

Alam’s pieces were moved to the new exhibit from a displat at the Koel Art Gallery. Owner Noel Bilgrami said:

“Sheherezade’s forms are fluid… They encapsulate the essence of ‘time’ as it spans across the Indus Valley Civilization, through ancient cultures and the Islamic period to the island of extremely refined sensibilities, Japan.”

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