Drawing Form

… Imran Mudassar, as one example, has used his drawing ability to extraordinary and powerful effect. He has drawn human figures onto photographs of walls pockmarked by bullets, mortar shells and other such damage inflicted on the built environment during the course of urban warfare. The photographs alone, taken in Kabul – even without their dramatic embellishments – speak eloquently of great violence and harm done. Each bullet hole, each fractured and damaged piece of cement work or masonry is in effect a scar, mark, or pitted area disfiguring the surface. But it is people, rather than merely buildings, which define and populate the built environment and whilst unadorned photographs imply savagery and indiscriminate killing unleashed on humanity, the victims of urban warfare, are themselves absent. Imran Mudassar attends to this absence by drawing human bodies exquisitely onto these photographs.

In so doing Mudassar creates work of great beauty and terrifying violence. There is dignity, humanity, and – I use the word again – beauty in the male bodies he draws. Yet these are bodies torn apart, damaged, mutilated, destroyed by having been juxtaposed with the most brutal urban scarification created in the wake of a hail of bullets or the exploding of bombs. Mudassar creates for us the realities of a large number of missiles hurled forcefully through the air, with intent to cause indiscriminate damage. The artist brings to our attention the men, women, children killed, maimed, brutalised, and traumatised in the course of urban warfare. And yet other, perhaps more personal, narratives emerge from Mudassar’s work. Alongside these graphic displays or enactments of violence is an almost tangible sense of loss.

… There is a profound sense of exploration – that is, the action of travelling in or through the familiar, the unfamiliar, the different, and the unusual, in order to learn about it – that resonates throughout this exhibition. In that regard, these artists are possessed of both purpose and ability. The drawings of Mudassar, Razavipour, and other artists represented in Drawing Form are sophisticated, multi-layered and highly skilful renderings that succeed in prompting us to consider all manner of relationships and engagement that they and we, might have with the world around us. We have much to thank, admire and respect these artists for.

The full version of the above text “Drawn From Life 3: Drawing Form”, text by Eddie Chambers for group exhibition catalogue, Green Cardamon, London, November 20 2009 – January 22, 2010. Unpaginated