My first ever encounter with mom artists of Karachi took place over the platform of “Crafter’s expo”, 2018. The event had been arranged by Varah Mussavir, the sole founder and concept originator behind “Crafter’s Guild”. Crafter’s Guild is a unique platform for creative crafters and artists, from all over Pakistan. By participating, several artisans display their elegantly designed hand crafted products to receive not only appreciation but also to develop a niche for themselves. It is also a great platform for emerging artists to take the wraps off their hidden talents and step in to the world of opportunities.
I have often been to exhibitions with friends and family before, but always as a visitor or an attendee. Today, at the expo 2018 I was about to meet up mother artists around the city and introduce myself as a Blogger and an artist mom. Naturally, the exhibition was sensationally special to me.
As my husband dropped me to the exhibition and took the kids to enjoy some “baba and R&R time”, I geared up for the time I was about to have at the expo. I walked up the stairs and moved towards halls which were 3 in number. Though, I did make notes on “first hall to enter”, “names of participants to meet on priority”, “what to ask”, “how to make a smooth flow from booth to booth capturing every detail”, “when and how to capture relevant photos”, I decided to keep my notebook closed and let myself go with the flow. Felt a bit high-strung inside as I was about to enter the first hall. Took some deep breaths, reminded myself of my purpose once again, uttered some positive statements for self-boost and stepped in.
A wonderful fragrance struck my nose as I entered the hall and witnessed immaculately assembled handmade beauty products at the stall, on the left side of the entrance. The comforting ambiance helped me ease my anxiety a bit. Among all exuberantly organized stalls the first ever stall that I chose to visit belonged to the mother artist who was passionate about woven handmade jewelry. The delicately weaved jewelry flaunted such love and care that I could not help but meet the artist behind the creative work. I re-collected myself and shook hands with the designer, gave a little introduction of myself and my passion, talked about the products they offered, a little bit about themselves, admired the workmanship, took photos, got hold of business card and drifted forward. As I moved towards another stall I could feel the warmth that had just stirred an inspiration inside me. An inspiration that explicitly shed light on staying contended and warding off any doubt about my own abilities, by just meeting one-single-mom-artist.
Yes, that’s exactly how we connect. We inspire and be inspired. We grow and help each other grow. We direct and do not shy away from asking directions. All of a sudden I was grateful for being there and could hardly wait to get to know other cheerful, bright-eyed and spirited artists over the platform.
Over all, the stalls were owned by homemakers, professional artists (both men and women), art, craft and design students, artisans and friends with special needs. I witnessed downright hard work behind each and every art accessory. As I mainly focused on mommy artists (due to time constraint) I noticed a lot of them had their kids along who seemed genuinely proud of their moms and were actively engaged in showing off their moms’ matchless talents. Many of them also had husbands along; no doubt a strong support system of the woman, dazzled and awe-struck by the unleashed creativity of their better halves.
I visited majority of the booths containing culturally enriched couture, beauty products, bath products, block and screen printed scarves, knit wear and kids accessories. Second Hall consisted another line of beautiful handicrafts, paintings( canvases, stones, scarves), creative book binders, jewelry makers, home crafts, kids crafts (home made non-toxic playing dough)and Mehndi stalls. Third hall was mostly dedicated to hand made jewelry and a few clothing line. The jewelry that I witnessed was as stunning as it could be. The last hall which was supposed to be the first hall (Hall A) and I missed upon entrance accommodated stalls of sweet and scrumptious home baked cakes, cookies and other food items along with some more extremely talented artists and artisans.
Some of the moms had followed a particular theme to express their distinctive and deep-rooted charm (Rabbi-ul-awwal, Truck Art, flower decoupage, Antique art collection etc.) while others played with multiple moods and subjects. The creativity on every little craft or painting seemed to be built on an imagination of its own. Every mother that I met showed tremendous amount of support and love over the idea behind Mom’s Canvas. By the end of my tour a sense of accomplishment and pride brightened my face as I moved towards exit, proud of being an artist, a mother and above all a woman.
Here are a few clicks from the expo: