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Linking Young Minds Together
     Volume 2 Issue 109 | March 8, 2009|


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The ‘journey…’

Shwagota Sayeed

IF art is the reflection of human psyche, then the art exhibition of Ms. Ridita Tasmin, held at the proposed Jahir Raihan auditorium in Jahangirnagar University from 19 to 21 February, 2009, was a colourful representation of the painter's own awareness, very much alive and absorbed in society and life around her. While I walked across the paintings with her explaining her themes, techniques and her emotions involving her works, it was clear to me that she paints from and with her heart.

Although she has never taken any institutional training on painting, Ridita has invested enough time and effort to learn about the famous painters of our country as well as of the world, and their diversified modes of painting, to become the self-taught freelance artist she is now. However, an art appreciation course at Center for Asian Art and Culture has immensely helped her to pursue her passion for painting. After participating in 5 other group art exhibitions, this was her first solo art exhibition with 40 pictures where she has used different techniques like oil on canvas, water colour, pen sketch and mixed media. Ferdousi Priovashini inaugurated the exhibition on the evening of 18 February and was fascinated by the works of the budding artist herself.

It was eminent at the exhibition hall that the artist has a keen interest to capture the beauty of nature on canvas. Numbers of flowers by her paintbrush had given the appeal of almost a real garden. But, as I have felt, the artist's charisma was much intently felt through her attempts to portray human nature and psychology.

Her ‘Geometric Dream’ is a presentation of the common rush of modern men to reach their zenith of material success, while the inescapable destination of birth is only to be perished.

The artist's one major focus, in fact, was the terms and conditions of our society that determine the condition of women. Her sequel, ‘Broken Mirror’ 1 and 2 was an accurate representation of women being an object and never a subject. ‘An Unsaid Word’ could have an even more haunting impact on a viewer who perceives the message from the firmly closed lips of the woman looking with dry but piercing eyes. The pieces of broken churi over and around her pretty face provide the acute suggestion of her being a decorated creature with a shattered existence.

Ridita is a student of English Literature at Jahangirnagar University. I was particularly enthralled to see Ridita's attempt to paint the words and the spirit of a poem with her paintbrush. She had explained to me her use of the colour of flames as a symbol of protest of a married woman being forced to give up her free will in ‘The Old Playhouse’, which she has named after the poem by Kamala Das.

However, I actually felt it to be quite astonishing, and at the same time very appreciable that the artist has this ability to probe so deep into the turmoil and torment of women in this society . In her personal life, she recognizes her husband, Bulbul Ahmed, to be the greatest inspiration and support for her 'journey' to flourish with her creativity. This exhibition, she admitted without hesitation, would not have been possible without her partner's active and consistent assistance and involvement.

Ridita's ‘journey’ is the journey of an artist to express her innermost passions and emotions through the medium of paint, brush and canvas. On my part, I do wish her grand achievements on her 'journey', but let this 'journey' never end.

Department of English
Jahangirnagar University

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