Students of the Textile Design Department at the National College of Arts have expressed a desire to take their design philosophy into the commercial market. Out of the 16 students who displayed their theses at a public exhibition that started on Wednesday, four received distinctions for their work.
One of them is Hasnain Raza Gardezi. Inspired by Amin Gulgee’s metallic sculptures, Gardezi’s work is based on metallic finishes on textiles.
He said it took six months of research to find the right materials and to create his thesis called Depiction of Metals in Textiles.
“There were lots of frustrating moments during the project,” he admitted.
With bold metallic sculptures and textured materials, Gardezi said he hoped to illustrate his ‘unconventional’ and ‘gothic’ design philosophy. He said he was certain that his work could be incorporated in the commercial textile sector.
His masterpiece, a textile clock, attracted huge attention. The clock, an artistic amalgamation of textiles, metals and small electronic chips, was priced at Rs150,000.
“The concept was to create a piece which was aesthetically challenging, yet with a practical purpose,” he said.
Gardezi’s resume includes contributions to costumes and set design for Shoaib Mansoor’s recent film Bol and exhibitions of his work twice a year at the Pakistan Fashion Lounge in Lahore.
For Gardezi, commercial exposure in all fields is necessary.
Hailing from Balochistan, Nazia Khanum attempted to explore variations in traditional Baloch embroidery and design. She said she had tried to present the designs with a contemporary look, while being careful not to venture too far from the original art form.
Having grown up appreciating her ancestral heritage, she said she felt a personal attachment with her thesis topic.
Khanum used screen, block and digital printing to depict the Baloch embroidery. She used cotton as the base fabric in her project. Her items ranged from Rs5,000 to Rs65,000.
Geometric shapes and symmetric patterns were an inspiration for the young textile designer, who said she believed Baloch embroidery was thriving. She said Baloch motifs were used frequently in contemporary textile designs and hoped to work for a textile design firm.
Najeeb Jatoi’s Peace-maker focused on soundproofing panels for interiors and attracted large audience. Jatoi used coloured foam sheets for sound absorption and reflection. He used three different colour palettes with more than 10 different colours to represent different moods. Jatoi had used several layers of colourful sound proofing material to add dimension and improve functionality.
Talking about the commercial viability of the project, he said that sound proofing was very popular in restaurants and recording studios. He had priced his work between Rs2,000 to Rs5,000, saying, “soundproofing is economical”.
However, he said soundproofing was more practical in Karachi than in Lahore. “Wall-to-wall housing is quite prevalent in Karachi,” he said, adding, “a piece of carpet can do the job sometimes.”
Another distinction holder, Hafsa Iftikhar, spoke with The Express Tribune about her thesis titled Daily Diary – A Chronicle of a Boring Hostel Life.
She said that project reflected her treasured memories as a boarding student. With manual drawings turned into printed artwork on flex sheets, Iftikhar created products including gift bags and gift boxes.
She said her diary had provided an inspiration for the project, where she used to note her daily experiences in hostel. “I couldn’t find a better way to give a tribute to a place I lived in for so long.”
Iftikhar was a recent intern at Polly & Me and is working on developing a small product line along her Daily Diary concept. Her much appreciated Memories Chest was priced at Rs30,000.
“The chest contains both my shared and personal memories.” While visible drawers reflected her memories easily accessible to the public, she said, she had made a secret drawer, that contained her very personal memories.
“The chest is so designed that it reveals memories only when all the drawers are open.” She said she was currently looking for sponsors for her product line.
Published in The Express Tribune,