Awes-truck at artworks

By Mahvash Ali

Fascination with painted trucks has led to travelling exhibition

Pakistani painted buses and trucks are sights to behold.
Pakistani painted buses and trucks are sights to behold.

A Kiwi abroad has become enamoured with vehicles that take the word roadworthy to wondrous levels.

After more than 18 years photographing the highly decorated trucks of Pakistan, Wellington artist Peter Grant is taking an exhibition of his photographs on the road from Wellington to Auckland. Fittingly, he will take the trip in the truck a Pakistani artist will decorate on the way.

Grant became enchanted with truck art in 1995 when motorcycling from Kathmandu to London.

"I crossed the border from India to Pakistan and I had never seen anything like it. I could tell it was a truck because of the shape but it was a kaleidoscope of colours. That confused me a bit. I thought it was perhaps a circus truck," he said.

Grant learned almost all trucks in Pakistan were intricately painted.

The exhibition starts on May 9 at the Pataka Gallery in Wellington, where Pakistani truck artist Yusuf Nawaz will paint and decorate a retired ambulance.

Grant said Pakistani artists are often bemused by the attention from foreigners. "Most of these artists don't even consider truck painting an art. They usually haven't been to school, but are extraordinary artists."

Nawaz is coming to New Zealand with truck art businesswoman Anjum Rana. Grant, Rana and Nawaz will also take the ambulance on a tour of the North Island and will run truck painting workshops at schools and youth groups.

The event runs at the Pataka Art Gallery in Porirua, Wellington, from May 9-23 and at the Depot Gallery in Devonport, Auckland from June 1-19.

- Herald on Sunday

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