To every person, life has a different meaning. Some spend it, some drag it and some cherish it by celebrating their dreams. Despite of highs and lows of the life cycle that is beyond one’s control, they shift their energies to materialize.

Artistic impression is the most powerful medium because it not only touches our souls but can potentially influence our culture, politics, and even the economy. Erum Ashfaq’s journey of transition is the true manifestation of it. Her life achievements explain that life could offer one with multiple talents and listening to the vows of nature one can make miracles to happen. Her entire life is a life of an exemplary woman, who traversed different avenues for expressing her talents and earned respect out of her passion.

Erum, virtually is an accomplished professional in field of urban planning and economics, but in real terms a born artist. Her life is a true indicator of power of a woman, for her capabilities to excel in life while maintaining her role as a home maker, a professional and an intellectual.

She managed to prove her artistic self in a decade’s time in parallel to her professional career in urban planning. She exhibited her art work all across Pakistan and internationally in Europe, Singapore and Belarus.

Her paintings are not only limited to depict the beauty of Pakistani landscape but also a purposeful manifestation of cultural heritage that remains peculiar to this land. She wants to impart a message through her paintings about the rich history we inherit.

A number of architectural master pieces of Mughal classical era that were not much known to masses as they existed in small towns were brought to canvas by her.

She is obsessed with old places, since such places remind of epitome of civilizations. On one hand she wants to sensitize the authorities for their preservation and uplift and on the other hand to document these magnificent architectural pieces for our coming generations to get hold of our prestigious past. Her brush celebrates the glimpses of Pakistan’s landscape too. The contrast of light and shadows gives an everlasting depth to her paintings. Her brush strokes are the amalgamation of realism and impressionism.

She has extended her ideas from the fields of rural areas to the hidden valleys ranges, springs, forests and lost pathways. She skillfully paints the moods of weathers storms, dawn and dusk, foggy days and gloomy afternoons. Her obsession with nature further compels her to paint clouds, flowers and gardens.

She focuses efforts to have a central purpose to set an example for women for how she can build herself to make her emotionally strong and believing in herself. Creative imagination and its practical use holds a woman’s footing and raises her level in building self-confidence and respect in social setting.

Art not only builds an individual self but has its implications at collective level in society as it is an essential ingredient to empowering the hearts of people, bringing best of their abilities and make them emotionally stable. It is perhaps the most powerful tool to break down barriers, stereo type attitude and still exist as most powerful form for expression.

Her artwork imparts a special message for women, to come forward and let themselves express since art is a special ability that unlocks the potential of human minds. The artistic impressions have the ability to transform one’s feelings of regrets, failures and sorrows in a channel that inculcates a positivity in one’s life. Talent solely means nothing, but experience acquired in humility and diligence means everything. The artist intends to impart a message to people working in different fields and endowed with varying unexplored talents; to find a time to find themselves. They could be either; professionals, workers, business persons or house wives etc.

Her journey of transition motivates them to explore their inherent abilities, untapped talents and unfold their dreams, whenever and at whatever part of their lives. Artistic abilities have a special power that brushes the dust over the soul. Thinking and dreaming big make a positive difference to the world. It imparts such a message that even transcends cultural and physical boundaries.

Syed Hamzah Saleem Gilani

The writer is Press Consular to Pakistani Consulate General in Jeddah.