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GLACIAL MOVEMENTS AND THE GHAIB (UNSEEN)

Updated: Jan 3




Pak Khawateen Painting Club and Lumen Studios (Lumen) combined forces to present this collaborative project - Glacial Movements and the Ghaib - launched as a part of the British Council Pakistan-UK New Perspectives 2022 programme. The project was selected through an open call that awarded four grants to proposals co-developed between Pakistan and UK partners that offer opportunities for cross-cultural creative practices, knowledge exchange and new artistic work.


Pak Khawateen Painting Club and Lumen developed new experimental art works based upon shared research activities and an expedition to the Gilgit Baltistan region. There they worked with indigenous communities and local experts to recognise the severe impact climate change has and will continue to have on indigenous people whilst considering themes of sustainable tourism and migration. The project builds upon Pak Khawateen Painting Club’s previous expeditions on the River Indus, supported by the Lahore Biennale 2020, Graham Foundation and Sharjah Art Foundation 2023. The two groups exhibited artworks informed by the project in a series of exhibitions in Pakistan (and the UK in late 2022.)


CURRENT EXHIBITION IN THE UK: Venue: Daphne Oram Gallery, Canterbury Christ Church University, Havelock St, Canterbury CT1 1NP


Monday 18 September 2023 – Tuesday 9 January 2024 Drinks Reception: Thursday 05 October, 5-7pm Open Monday – Friday, 10am – 4pm Closed for Christmas Friday 22 December to Friday 5 January Installation images by Shaun Vincent. Glacial Movements and the Ghaib explores the history and politics of water bodies. It considers the flow of water, fluidity and how water interacts with the land. The project contemplates the precarity and beauty of vast natural formations such as glaciers and rivers. The exhibition, resulting from an all-female expedition that took place in September 2022 by members of Lumen Studios and Pak Khawateen Painting Club, will feature art works produced on that expedition including journals, videos, sound, photography and painting. The expedition focused on some of the largest glaciers in Pakistan, which are continuously shifting and changing shape. The glaciers are also a water source for rivers in south Asia, and form part of the ‘Third Pole,’ one of the largest ice reserves in the world. The collectives visited four of the glaciers in Hunza district, named Passu, Shishper, Battura and Gulkin. In addition to visiting the glaciers, the collectives explored local towns that are directly affected by glacial lake outbursts and rely on them for a water source. The collectives have been influenced by the work of James C Scott: a text focused on Zornia, a region between the mountains of Cambodia and Afghanistan. This area was a place for refuge from repressive states. These communities migrated to the mountains to remain stateless, and resist falling into the trap of slavery, working to produce and toil on the land of agrarian states. In contrast to this, the mountains housed small egalitarian communities. The Glacial Movements and the Ghaib (Ghaib is the Urdu word for Unseen) project shows the precarity and beauty of living with glaciers. While these mountains are no longer spaces of refuge, they have developed into tourist destinations, which has brought exponential wealth with the price of climate change and global warming. The expedition was funded by the British Council’s ‘New Perspectives 75 Years of Pakistan’. Versions of this exhibition have been shown at VM Gallery Karachi, Tagh’eer Lahore and COMSATS University, Islamabad in Pakistan. This is the first exhibition produced from the expedition within the United Kingdom and has been curated by Melanie King and Paul Russell. About Pak Khawateen Painting Club & Lumen Studios Lumen is an art collective, focused on themes of astronomy, light and ecology. Through art commissions, exhibitions, and seminars, we aim to raise a dialogue about how humanity understands existence. Pak Khawateen Painting Club is focused on the history and politics of water bodies, flow of water, fluidity, bodies blocking water and bodies moving along water. Artists Amna Hashmi / Saba Khan / Saulat Ajmal / Zohreen Murtaza / Louise Beer / Melanie King / Rebecca Huxley Find out more and RSVP to our opening event on the Canterbury Christ Church University website.


EXHIBITIONS IN PAKISTAN:


This exhibition explores the history and politics of water bodies, flow of water, fluidity, bodies blocking water, and bodies moving along water. .The Club's project aims to showcase the precarity and beauty of living with large natural formations such as glaciers. The exhibition space will feature an experimental and experiential display of the works produced during fieldwork, including journals, videos, sounds, photography, and paintings.


  • Venue: VM Art Gallery, ZVMG Rangoonwala Community Centre, Plot # 4 & 5, KDA Scheme-7, Block-4, Siraj-ud-Daulah Rd, Dhoraji Cp & Berar Chs, Karachi, Karachi City, Sindh 74800, Pakistan. Dates: 4th March - 24th March 2023

The gallery will become a site to launch the website and to view the works.

This project is funded by New Perspectives 75 Years of Pakistan/Uk British Council and was triggered from an invitation to a new commission at the Lahore Biennale


  • Venue: COMSATS Art Gallery, COMSATS University, Islamabad, Pakistan. Dates: 31 May 2023 - 07 June 2023

This project is funded by New Perspectives 75 Years of Pakistan/Uk British Council and was triggered from an invitation to a new commission at the Lahore Biennale


Pakistan-UK New Perspectives 2022 programme has been launched to celebrate Pakistan’s 75th anniversary of Independence in 2022. The programme features projects addressing shared global challenges including but not limited to digital innovation, environmental sustainability, gender equality, diversity and inclusion principles, and empowering young leaders of the future.



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