One of the core components of the Fine Art Programme, the Drawing course aims not only towards skill building and technical application, but also serves as a means towards imaginative expression. Subsequent to the Foundation year programme, the Drawing course in the Fine Art Programme reiterates the development of a visual language and introduces a broad range of materials and techniques. Students draw from the model and explore outdoor and studio drawing to investigate a range of drawing strategies. Within the Fine Art Programme, Drawing is emphasised as an independent means of expression that motivates the growth of a personal vision. The courses are supported by lectures, visual presentations and periodic critical evaluations that facilitate an informed approach to the subject.
The Painting course investigates traditional and modern media and techniques through intensive studio sessions taught by practicing artists. Initial courses explore techniques applicable to a range of painting methods and initiate the student to a technical understanding of pigments, grounds, surfaces and preparation. These, supplemented with the exploration and understanding of colour through studio based exercises, form the basis of building a strong visual vocabulary. Students gain the opportunity to work with commissioned public projects in the city and work with faculty members on-site as part of their curriculum. Advanced courses introduce the development of conceptual approaches along with the broadening of traditional painting practice. Studio and gallery visits, artists’ talks, critical discussions and an intense research-based approach contribute towards the building of an independent body of work in the final year.
The Sculpture course in the Department of Fine Art initiates students to traditional skill-building methods by introducing various materials and the challenges they present. Students learn about these through methods such as carving, modelling, welding and mould-making. At the same time the Sculpture course engages with conceptual concerns that run simultaneously through the process-based challenges of various materials. The Sculpture studios offer a mix of technical and material concerns along with the demands of a critical discourse. A series of seminars, studio visits, artists’ talks, critiques, along with a familiarisation of the city’s resources on materials informs the course and prepares the student to experience the range of approaches to Sculpture. As in other disciplines, students are encouraged to develop a personal vocabulary of expression towards an independent body of work in the final year.
The Printmaking course offers students a range of techniques and methods within the discipline as a means to develop a vocabulary for contemporary art practice. Intaglio printing methods, wood-cut, mono-printing, silk screen, paper-making, artists’ books and printing methods are introduced throughout the second and third years as a means to emphasise technical skills as well as develop a personal language. The course is led by highly qualified instructors who conduct the programme through regular demonstrations and discussions. The Printmaking studios have had the privilege of welcoming a host of Pakistani and international printmakers who have contributed their experiences through workshops, talks and demonstrations. The Studio has also been involved in initiating print portfolio projects which have been a source of learning for the students. The Printmaking Studio is equipped with three intaglio presses, one lithography press and also houses facilities for silk screen.
The Miniature Painting course extends the vocabulary of Painting by drawing from a very traditional genre that has been reinterpreted to become part of the contemporary art vocabulary. The course lays emphasis on the imparting of traditional skills and techniques of miniature painting by studying and practicing the styles and conventions of masters from different stylistic schools. To understand the traditional style in its pure form, students initially reproduce miniatures especially from the Persian, Mughal and Kangra traditions, which focus on understanding line, form, colour and rendering (Purdakht). As part of the traditional training methods, students are taught to prepare their own tools and materials under the guidance of their instructors. The preparation of pigments and surfaces (Wasli, the paper used for miniature painting) is integral to the course. Students are initiated to traditional techniques such as Siyah Qalam and Gudrung as a means to understand the full range of the genre and its vocabulary. The course also integrates the appreciation of contemporary art practices within Miniature Painting through gallery and studio visits, workshops and artists’ talks. Intense critical evaluations are conducted on a regular basis as a means to help develop an independent body of work in the final year.
Students are introduced to the diverse approaches within ceramic making; sculptural and functional, and are encouraged to produce technically sound and conceptually developed bodies of work. They are taught various techniques of forming with clay, such as throwing on the potter's wheel, hand building, moulding and casting processes. Students acquire a clear understanding of ceramic raw materials through theory as well as analysis, tests and experiments undertaken to create clay bodies, glazes and slips. A study of various types of kilns, fuels, firing processes and equipments used in ceramics forms are an integral part of the course.
Students who choose to focus on ceramics are expected to extract knowledge from other disciplines of the visual arts and have numerous opportunities to work with other materials through the study blocks offered. In the final year, students handle the concepts, materials, techniques and firing processes more independently. A close interaction with studio instructors and regular critiques and discussions gear the students towards formulating an independent body of work in the final year.
The Department of Fine Art offers Video Art as a means for artistic expression for students who wish to explore this discipline in their final body of work. Initial courses are motivated towards acquiring an understanding of the technicalities of the medium and video equipment. Modules dedicated to camera movement, studio and outdoor lighting, studio production and editing are introduced in the second and third years before students undertake an independent direction in the final year. Along with providing students the necessary competence with video equipment, the course is supported by artists’ talks, seminars, critical discussions and research on video as an art form in order to engage with the strategies of video as an art-making tool.
The Photography course in the Department of Fine Art aims to equip students with the necessary technical and conceptual skills in order to examine Photography as an art form. Initial courses familiarise students with the use of manual and digital cameras, a basic black and white photography module which introduces 35mm camera operation, darkroom techniques, black and white film processing as well as printing. Advance courses examine the relationship between exposure, film development, and the final print and initiate students to the techniques of electronic flash equipment, special effects in colour and the essentials of controlling contrast, direction, and colour balance. The course facilitates the investigation of the innumerable approaches of modifying light through the use of umbrellas, soft-boxes, snoots, barn-doors, honeycombs, reflectors, projectors, spots, gobos and other diffusion materials. The familiarisation of necessary software such as Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom is also integrated into the course. While the Photography course offers an understanding of basic practical skills at the initial level, strategies towards conceptual thinking are also emphasised in advanced classes through lectures, critical evaluations and slide presentations that explore the medium as a tool of artistic expression.
Students are introduced to the essentials of information technology, computer skills, website development and knowledge of essential software that assists them in expanding their vocabulary as visual artists. Taught during the second and third years of study, this course is designed to meet the specific requirements of the Fine Art Curriculum. The Computer Skills course aims towards a proficiency in handling different software that allows students to expedite their process work and develop an independent vocabulary towards original artwork.
The varied courses taught in the Liberal Arts programme are an important component of the Fine Art curriculum. These include History of Art and Architecture, Psychology and Art and Society. These courses broaden the students’ horizon, create a more informed approach towards their work and enhance their vocabulary as visual artists. Students are required to submit a written research-based dissertation of their own choice in the seventh semester as a requirement for the Degree. Individual tutorials and seminar sessions on research methodology assist the process towards the dissertation.
The Department of Fine Art has recently introduced an internship programme during the summer break for the students in semester five. Students are expected to work in National and International Art organizations, galleries and artists’ studios. This experience with artists, curators and art managers is a means to enhance the students’ personal as well as professional developmental skills, and provide a platform from which they can make more informed and educated decisions about their future careers.
Students are offered the occasion to visit one provincial, domestic and international destination each in the course of three years spent in the Department. These visits provide the Fine Art students with the opportunity to encounter original works of art and architecture, engage with artists and gallery curators from diverse backgrounds, attend workshops and seminars, visit other art institutions and exchange ideas, approaches and discourse. These national and international study tours are integral towards creating platforms for dialogue beyond the IVS and Karachi. The trips are planned and organized by the faculty, keeping in mind the learning objectives of the student as a visual artist.
The Fine Art Building Community (FAB) project is one of the important pillars of the department. It plays a very active role in fulfilling our commitment towards serving the community. The Fine Art faculty and students play an active role in realising this aim. A pilot project focused on the teaching of art has been initiated with the teaching staff and special students of KVTC (Karachi Vocational Training Centre). We avidly believe in providing children with special needs the opportunity to express themselves through art in order to promote self-esteem and integrate them into society by creating a foundation for inclusion. This project enables us to facilitate diverse experiences in the creative arts for a positive social change within the community.
The Department of Fine Art is playing a major role in supervising the IVS Gallery, which is successfully organizing National and International Art Exhibitions. The Department is fully involved in hosting national and international Artist Residencies in collaboration with Vasl Artists’ Collective. Eminent artists from various art institutions are regularly invited as special guests for personal tutorials, talks, seminars and workshops to enhance student learning skills.
The Department of Fine Art offers three major awards to students who show excellence in their studies, drawing and academic research. The 'ZVM Rangoonwala Trust Award' is presented to a final year student who excels academically and also deserves financial assistance. The 'Zahoor-ul-Akhlaq Drawing Portfolio Award', instituted in the name of the celebrated artist is presented to the student who has excelled in drawing during the entire four years at IVS. The 'Late Abu Shamim Arif Award for Academic Research’, set up by the Foundation of Museum of Modern Art (FOMMA) and instituted after the eminent bureaucrat and former member of the IVS Executive Committee, is awarded to the student who excels in academic research.
The Department of Fine Art works in close collaboration with organizations such as the Vasl Artists’ Collective and Karachi Vocational Training Centre (KVTC).
Important:Curricula, courses and course outlines are continuously under review. Indus Valley School reserves the right to alter, substitute, eliminate from or add to the list of courses and details at any time without notice.