They say a true artist’s work is a reflection of his or her personality. This stands exceptionally true in the case of Durre Sameen, the brains behind Rangdey Truck Art. As the name suggests, her products that range from mirror frames, boxes, signage, door paneling, company mementos and other custom made orders, take inspiration from vibrant Pakistani truck art. Durre’s product range is made using stainless steel and chamak patti, which according to her is “as durable as life itself!” Each creation of hers is just as exuberant and spirited as she is. Her personality and her work both have the quality of bringing a room to life.
“I’ve always loved colour. A bit too much at times actually. I’ve been told the bright colours I use are a bit too bold and overwhelming for the begums
of Lahore and that I need to tone them down a bit. I’m trying to find a happy balance these days.” Truck art intrigued Durre because of many reasons. “I feel it is the most liberating art form. It opens up the possibility of expressing just about anything. This dynamic medium really piques my imagination – it’s a folk expression that is also very rich because of its indigenous nature. The fact that it was fashioned by the ordinary man, not some privileged degree-holders, proves that there is a lot of natural vitality and endowment in our people.”
Durre believes that at a time when the country is drowned in a dark hole of political and religious chaos, this forceful jingle adds much needed excitement. By training Durre is an architect. She acquired a degree in architecture from Austin, Texas and has worked on many projects in that vein. “I love vernacular architecture. Such construction proves that in order to make a building look aesthetically appealing, stylistic elements do not have to be incorporated intentionally. There is beauty in simplicity. If we stop believing that luxury and adornment are the only keys to splendour, we will be able to see that. I feel that this kind of architecture also takes us back to our roots and traditions.”
Durre has also given jewellery designing a shot and received truckloads of appreciation for her work. She has, however, discovered that her heart truly
lies in crafts and painting. “Over the years I have found that I enjoy doing this the most. I’m the happiest when doing crafts or throwing colour on an empty canvas.”
She loves her work even more due to its flexible nature. “I do not have to worry about any rigid working hours. I can do everything at my own pace and will. I think jobs of such nature are well suited for women like me who like to give priority to their family along with work. For mothers especially, working from home is nothing short of a blessing.” Durre’s work allows her to stimulate her imagination and use it productively. It gives her a sense of
emancipation, while also allowing her to fulfill her job as a devoted mother and homemaker.
When asked what her ideal home should look like, she replied, “Full of life. Exuberant, yet simple and indigenous. There is so much exhilaration in simplicity. I really don’t think it is wise when people go chasing interior designers to set up their homes. The first thing to do is to look inside you and figure what would make you happy. Your house should be an extension of you, not someone else. It should reflect your aesthetics and lifestyle, not someone else’s.”
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