Arts & Crafts
The Arts & Crafts Subgroup organises presentations s with a range of different artists and craft workers. These events can vary from exhibitions ,conversations with artists, demonstrations of different crafts eg. Jewelry making , printing, calligraphy etc.The events are often hosted by the artist or curator.Programmes organised by other organisations eg: PNCA/ Lok Virsa that complement the interests of ASG membership are also shared .
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Arts & Crafts - THE ART OF HAL BEVAN-PETMAN (1894-1980)
Monday, 22 March 2021
A multi-media presentation/display/conversation:
‘Henry Charles (Hal) Bevan-Petman, was born in Britain. He graduated with a Fine Arts degree from the Slade School of Art in 1917. His parents, moved to the Subcontinent where they had several businesses amongst some of which were coalmines in the Baluchistan region. Research shows Hal was the third generation of his family to reside in India, then under British rule. Hal and his third wife Berylle Dyer, whom he met, and married in Lahore some years before partition, settled down to a life residing in Rawalpindi Club, with the hot summers spent in Murree and Bhurban. She was very supportive of his work and the two of them became a part of the fabric of Pakistan society...’
Pakistan, in the the 50s, 60s and 70s – saw a consistent high in Petman’s popularity. His clientele was the elite, with distinguished backgrounds, who vied for a portrait to be done by him. Included in the list were several notable personalities and/or their spouses. Ranging from the Nawab of Bahawalpur, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, the Founder of Pakistan, and various subsequent Presidents and Military Commanders. He was also commissioned to paint military battle scenes which now adorn the walls of numerous Pakistan Military Academic Institutions. However, his signature style by which he is remembered mostly today is of those doe- eyed , long necked socialite beauties of the day-known as ‘The Petman Girls’!
In later years, labelled as “a commissioned artist”, he was shunned by the local art scene, his particular niche artistry lost in a flood of modernism. However this did not apparently make a dent in his appreciation as an artist, as his portraiture reached British Royalty where four of his works are displayed in Sandringham House , gifted to Queen Elizabeth II by the Government of Pakistan in 1961. These paintings form a part of the Royal Art Collection.
Amateur researcher Romano Karim Yusuf has been tracing Hal Bevan Petman's story for three decades. He shares in this presentation a small piece of history and an aspect of culture; a walk into the lives of the people who had been an important part of an almost forgotten history when portraiture was done in the classical style of a traditional oil painting, and considered and respected as an art form- a refreshing addition to the Pakistani art scene and local art history. Based on her correspondence with Romano , Hal’s granddaughter is now writing a book on her grandfather.