Selected Reviews & Quotes for 'Restitution of Life' 2014
"Photography is a simple, yet a difficult medium to explore interesting, creative, original and genuine ideas. Since paradoxically taking a picture through a camera is so simple, yet in some photographs you realize that this simple procedure becomes highly difficult, because the process or course of putting meaning into those images is really difficult. I find in this exhibition, the works on the surface look as if they are seen, recorded and documented, yet when you look at them closely they look almost like a personal interpretation of places, people, areas, cultures and diversity, and they are about art making as well. So i feel that photographer Maryam Arif, has moved from one level to another level, in which the camera becomes an extension of her eyes... and the eyes, as we know, are the extension of the mind. So in that way the three layers of image making, the camera, eyes and mind... or the three layers of dealing with the image or pictorial space are in harmony with each other. Because what we see makes us think in terms of how she has recorded, at the same time we begin to notice how these things exist between reality and impossibility, or between actuality and imagination, or between fantasy and the concrete world. And i think that is an interesting question, when we look at these images, that make us think that maybe this is possible or maybe this is not possible. And probably that question is the real intent of the Artist, and the real content of the show."
Quddus Mirza (Art Critic)
"When i approach Maryam Arif's work, what immediately comes to mind is the play of spaces, light and shade in relation to human behavior, and how spaces exert a certain mood on human behavior, and how human behavior changes in response to each new space. Apart from that what comes to mind is transition, transcendence and in some odd cases even metamorphosis... how life remains constantly in the throws of transition and transcendence and how spaces transform themselves with the change in landscape, and how human beings transform with the shift in spaces. So, the landscape as a space in general or even the enclosed space, the man built environment, and the elements of light and shadow associated with both open and closed spaces, their relationship to human behavior, to principles of cognition and recognition, memory and erasure, even arrival and departure, are what that comes to mind."
Aasim Akhtar (Art Critic)
"I think it is very important that we understand what the arts are about. It's a visual experience and a visual dialogue that the Artist is having. So bravo, to an effort like this, and to see her grow over the years has been just fantastic. More power to her, and to other people who venture into a changes field. So many people who start off in one field and then have moved on and excelled in the most beautiful way in another field. I think that vision and that dialogue is just fantastic, and to lend oneself into a realm like that and to give yourself the freedom to do that, i think that by itself is very bold and beautiful and needs to be appreciated."
Qudsia Rahim (Curator)
Selected Reviews & Quotes for 'Levels of Existence' 2014
"Maryam is a thinking artist, and through the medium of photography she creates and innovates intuitively, as she is guided by a sixth sense that she is blessed with. I find a sense of eternal spontaneity in her works and in her personality."
Nayyar Ali Dada (Architect)
"Maryam Arif describes her approach to photography as 'observational and non intrusive'. Likened to a contemporary flańuer in the city, she has a wonderful ability to capture reality's blueprint without interfering with its DNA. A medical doctor by profession, Arif is known to handle a camera with as much consummate ease as any any lucid European or American photographer of the contemporary age; and tellingly Arif's images deliver as much purpose. Self-taught Arif is constantly having to make calculated decisions, and one of her most difficult has been to consciously side-line medicine for photography, in order as she says, to 'venture into the light of potential I could feel growing inside me'. Unlike in neighbouring India where photography has a lifeblood all of its own, in Lahore and Karachi photography has still to establish itself; and Arif is the vanguard of a new wave of photography that is positively altering engrained preconceptions about the value of the photograph in an age of the image."
Rajesh Punj (Art Critic)
Selected Reviews & Quotes for 'sPIRITUAL eLEVATION' 2012
"Maryam Arif, by training a doctor, looking for expression which by nature is considered the expression of creative people. Her thought process, feelings and emotions are expressed in a manner that communicate about the heart and mind of oneself."
Ghazanfar Ali (Architect)
"In the second week of December, 2012, we witnessed a unique collection of photographs, put up in the Exhibition Hall of Alhamra Arts Council, Lahore. By very efficaciously utilizing the lens of her camera, and with a touch of professional precision, the artist Dr. Maryam Arif - a medical doctor by educational qualification - has given a glimmering exposition of her concealed inner feelings and her soul. The camera has been her companion wherever she went - at home and abroad - to capture whatever inspired her. The variety exhibited there, is an evidence of her boundless and all-pervasive inspirational reach.
Her masterly command in capturing the object in 'The Path', and giving with it the quotation inspired from Robert Frost, "Two roads diverged in a desert and I ..... and that has made all the difference", is amazingly relevant. Her masterpiece 'Parallel Universe' with the narrative,"two worlds exist side by side ..... one that we can touch, the other beyond", is incredible. One could write volumes to elucidate its implications and connotations. The exponent of her visual sensitivity, titled 'Layers of Imagination', with the narration, "endless exploration", takes one into the realm of thought stimulation and ends up with extensive soul-searching."
Humayun Rashid Peer (Art Critic)
Selected Reviews & Quotes for 'Space, Light, Structure...' 2011
"Maryam Arif's work has impressed me for its sensitivity and interesting compositions. In particular, she has captured Architectural themes very effectively. Her command on Black & White imagery is very well expressed.
I can see her grow further as a Photographer ... being imaginative, sensitive and creative in spirit."
Nayyar Ali Dada (Architect)
"Maryam has been experimenting with this medium and explored it to express her inner feelings. Interestingly, the true feelings of the artist, reflected in her works, were transmitted to the audience as well to some extent. More so, with the intelligent handling of light, colour and texture – tools that carry and communicate unnamable entities and ideas.
But more than just the visually engaging views, Arif’s work unfolded a range of meanings too. A difficult task for an artist who uses ‘mute’ medium of images, but Maryam managed to communicate ideas about spirituality and human conditions in her work. Continuous stairs leading to nowhere somehow reminded of Kafka’s stories, in which the man is caught in an oppressive fate. Clustered poles and empty walls of the gallery accentuated this sensation, which engaged the viewer and compelled him/her to discover beyond the mere visual material.
This aspect, of finding greater meaning from ordinary views appeared to be a constant engagement for Maryam Arif; a theme which can be explored further by employing the sensitive vocabulary that is being formed from her first exhibition in Lahore."
Quddus Mirza (Art Critic)