Writer, friend and fellow Moth artist Andrea Connolly delivered a heart- felt and warm interpretation of the work of Amna Kiran at the launch of Safarnama Travelogue at Johnston Central Library, Cavan for Cruinniú na Cascá on April 17.
"This is about an artist finding her own expression in a long awaited exhibition of a unique journey in ink, watercolour and paper, borne from visiting the illuminated manuscripts in the Chester Beatty Library and her journey from East to North - West - Lahore to Cavan, a home in two countries, a homeland and a home in Ireland. It is a journey of experience and exile." Connolly went on to talk about the poetry that influenced the artist namely Ghalib and Fait, whom the impressionable artist studied as she grew up. Fait himself who lived from 1911 to 1984 was living in exile. He was a revolutionary poet of the Urdu language and has been honoured both in his homeland and internationally. His poetry is deep and melancholic as expressed in one of Amna's later work on green background with a fleeting woman and a peacock " Strangers we remained despite our relationship - what will it do to unite us again?"
The second poet Connolly drew our attention to is Ghalib who is the prominent Indian Urdu and Persian language poet of the Moghul era.
"Give something after all,
O unjust sky,
The leave of sigh and complaint
Connolly, a poet herself wrote in response to the exhibition
"unique views, unshielded
of conceived , meditated moments
Painted desert hues and island greens
Fields of saffron and gold"
The event was well attended and included the Moth artists and founders of the magazine of the same name Will Govan and Becky O Connor. Dr Tariq Cheema, husband of the artist spoke about his wife and her journey to Ireland and rearing their children far away from her family and friends. He spoke about the importance of painting to Amna to find and express herself and that irrespective of anything else that was happening in her life she was always true to her work and constant at it. Members of the cultural team attended, included Eoin Doyle, director of services, Savina Donohoe, museum curator, Conor Harrington, thisiscavan, the library staff with Tom Sullivan and the arts office. John Paul Feeley, councillor was present with Fergal Curtin, Cathaoirleach of Cavan County Council. The Cathaoirleach spoke about his pleasure at attending this Cruinniú event as part of the Creative Ireland initiative and the large crowd that attended the workshop at the Hotel Kilmore indicated the vibrancy and interest in all matters cultural in County Cavan. Fergal complimented the young musicians Zoran Donohoe and Ellen Grant for the muscial accompaniment.
The exhibition continues until 5 May at Johnston Central Library, Cavan and the artist is available to meet groups to talk about her work and inspirations. For further details contact the arts office 049 4378549.
Photos by Lorraine Teevan