Laila Shahzada – Exploring an Inner Landscape by Salwat Ali
About the book: LAILA SHAHZADA was foremost among the handful of women artists of the 60s brave enough to forge a modern idiom to articulate their aesthetic sensibilities. Fascinated by driftwood washed along the seashores of Karachi, she conjured her singular ‘Driftmoods’, a series of contorted, swirling rhythms laden with emotive content. The first artist to draw inspiration from the archaeological sites of the Indus Valley and Taxila region, Laila’s oeuvre played an important role in initiating and popularizing the ancient history of Pakistan as viable subject matter. An artist with a number of international exhibitions to her credit, she was the only Pakistani to be honoured with the key to the city of New York. Always exploring an inner landscape, Laila’s art was characterized by rich colouration and stirring organic undulations with strong accent on the surreal and the mystical. Free spirited and bohemian by nature she was a very warm and generous person who enjoyed the goodwill of the art fraternity.
About the author: SALWAT ALI is a practising artist with a strong interest in the history and culture of Pakistan. She has been writing on art since 1990s. Her articles, reviews, essays and reports are published on weekly and monthly basis in Pakistan’s leading newspaper and periodicals. Salwat Ali regularly contributed articles to Dawn Gallery, Daily Dawn & Artline, and Newsline and is the author of Laila Shahzada-exploring an inner landscape, Journeys of spirit: Pakistan art in the new millennium.