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Only crafts are not enough for Shahzad Zar, a self taught artist, who creates images with dried leaves.
His restlessness to do something different keeps him on his toes. Recently he founded Zar's Youth Art
Circle (Z-AC) and under its banner held a Youth Art Festival. S.H.Hashmi, Vice President Karachi Arts
Council graced the occasion as chief guest. The purpose of the festival was to bring to light the works of
talented but less known artist. Zar has provided new artists a platform for display and appreciation of
their work. 27 artists participated in the festival. The displays included still life, landscape, cityscape,
seascape, calligraphy, abstract, ceramics etc.

Self taught, Shahzad could not put his heart into studies as a young boy without knowing what he
wanted to do. At school, he knew he was good at drawing and he would draw for any body who asked
for it.

After leaving school, he was restless. He felt as if he had to do something artistic. He belonged to a
large family of four brothers and two sisters where boys have to earn and girls are to be married at an
early age. He took up a small job with a private concern and simultaneously attended short courses in
painting, drawing etc. He surely wanted to do something different from the rest of the artists. As an
experiment, he patched together peel of wood and wrote Allah on it. It was something different, but not
satisfying enough. He was attracted to leaves while looking at Badam(almond) trees. He observed that
the leaf turned its color from light green to dark and then red and finally to yellow. He got an idea. He
collected various leaves and dried them with iron and used them as background for his calligraphy. He
took his work to various art galleries. One is displayed at Momart in a group show. When Ali Imam, the
proprietor of Indus Gallery saw Shahzad's work, he hinted to the young artist to use leaves for
calligraphy, instead of using paint.

The late Imam was an artist, a galleries and an art promoter as welt. He felt that his guideline could air
the unexplored talent in the young artist. Imam Saheb gave him a solo show at his Indus Gallery thus
introducing Zar to the art circles in 1999. Zar's second solo was also hosted by Indus Gallery in 2001.
Soon after, his art works could be seen at alt major art galleries in town. Art galleries in Lahore and
Islamabad also hosted him as a solo artist. He worked calligraphy with dried leaves. The artist kept
experimenting with his work. He has introduced painterly nuances on his boards. His skill as an artist
dominates his craft on a finished piece of work.

Crafted Arts
MAG: Art Scene: July 27-Aug 2, 2002
By: Shamim Akhter