Monday, October 25, 2010

GRANTA 112 - Pakistan

Granta is of course one of the world's great literary magazines and I must say I just love the cover of the latest issue released here earlier this month.
I was so taken by it and then delighted to find near the ends of the issue, on page 286, a page about the artist which the publishers have kindly allowed me to post on the blog:

About the Cover

From the ornate horse-drawn carriages of the Raj to the pioneering craftsmanship featured on the Kohistan Bus Company’s fleet in the 1920s, Pakistan has a long-established tradition of decorating vehicles. The idiosyncratic designs serve as both moving advertisements and indicators of cultural affiliation. Truck artists transform village rickshaws, city buses and commercial trucks into a procession of moving colour.

The cover for Granta 112 was created by Islam Gull, a truck and bus artist of Bhutta village in Karachi, as part of a greater collaboration with Pakistani artists for the issue. Gull, born in Peshawar, has been painting since the age of thirteen. Twenty-two years ago he settled in Karachi, where he now teaches his craft to two young apprentices. In addition to trucks and buses, Gull decorates buildings and housewares and has worked for several consulates in Karachi, as well as travelling to Kandahar, Afghanistan to paint trucks there. Commissioned with the assistance of the British Council in Karachi, Gull produced two chipboard panels to be photographed for the magazine’s cover, using the same industrial paints with which he embellishes Pakistani trucks.

Superb, thanks Islam Gull.

About issue 112:

Pakistan is a nation in crisis. It is also at the forefront of a literary renaissance and Granta 112: Pakistan seizes this moment to present unusual perspectives and hard-hitting reportage on one of the most discussed nations today.

Like the magazine’s issues on India and Australia, Granta 112 represents a critical watershed. It is also a celebration of the corona of talent writing in Sindhi, Urdu, Punjabi, Pashto and English which has burst onto the English-language publishing world. The issue features the work of more than 20 contributors.
Worthwhile, handsome publishing in my book.

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