An Indigo Universe… Nur Jehan Bilgrami.
When man started to say something did he need language or did he use art as an expression. This is debatable. But the ancient cave paintings show all over the world that man used pigment to colour the sketches and paintings he made to express his thoughts and records events, his religious beliefs, objects around him, rituals, animals, trees and other artifacts. He understood the use of colour to express the variety and nuances of his feelings. The use of red, blue and green has been the earliest, in paintings. Indigo as a dye has been used since ancient times in South Asia. India was the place where Indigo dye was used to colour fabrics. Japan , in fact the whole of Far East and South East Asia, discovered Indigo and has used it as a dye whether for silk, cotton fabric, for traditional crafts and pottery or even hair dye to give hair a more blacker shade.
Nurjehan Bilgrami is an artist of true individuality and as she strives to discover the intricacies and difficulty of Indigo dyeing, a new vista, a new Universe beckons her to interact. Indigo dyeing is an art in itself, a difficult art. Indigo dyes when of natural origins are neither water soluble nor easily penetrating the surface of a fabric. In order to apply the colour, Japanese have mastered various techniques like Shibori . In Pakistan Ajrak dyeing is an art form which Nurjehan has been doing since sometime As the shades have continued to present themselves, dancing in Indigo blue, Nurjehan’s “Cosmos” comes alive. The paintings are born, almost as if by a “celestial” process.
Her most recent exhibition at the Chawkandi Art Gallery using Indigo on paper shows her unique and complete artistry. She is a true expressionist , having her own style in modern abstract painting in Pakistan.Cosmos.