Home  -  Back Issues  -  The Team  -  Contact Us
    Volume 6 Issue 6 | February 16, 2007 |

   Cover Story
   View from the    Bottom
   Food Security
   Dhaka Diary
   Book Review
   New Flicks
   Chit Bit

   SWM Home


Art Camp by the Jamuna

Sharier Khan

A rare congregation of talent.

The sun was obscured for the best part of the day. Sometimes the visibility was near zero. The occasional mild wind that blew on my face told me that the river was nearby. It was a perfect early February 1 morning to have good old bhapa pitha, served hot from the oven, with the gur (molasses) oozing out of the cake.

But for 11 leading and upcoming artists, it was the perfect time to capture the mood of the Jamuna river. It's not often that 11 very well- known artists get together in a single mission to produce what they do best.

Armed with brush, water and paint the artists were battling with their papers at the Jamuna Resort at Bhuapur. Their three-day artistic battle was aptly titled: "Renewal of Nature".

The end-result: 120 pieces of enchanting water colour paintings depicting the riverside, boats, foggy mornings, stormy dark skies, riverside landscape and various abstract forms.

Artists doing what they do best.

The artists were Rafiqun Nabi, Hashem Khan, Hamiduzzaman Khan, Chandrashekhar Day, Alokesh Ghosh, Kazi Rakib, Masuda Kazi, Tarun Ghosh, Shishir Battacharjee, Nagarbasi Barman and Uttamkumar Shaha Chowdhury.

This three-day art camp was organised by Gallery Kaya and sponsored by upcoming five star hotel The Westin Dhaka. The concept of art camp in the country is not very old.

"Art camps are the most effective way to have artists make large number of works on a single theme in a short time, fuse new ideas or techniques and bridge gaps between generations of artists," says Gallery Kaya chief Goutam Chakrabarti, who is an artist himself. Chakrabarti organised the camp at the resort because of its beauty and serenity, which, he believes, inspire artists.

In this event however, the artists did not fuse new ideas or techniquesbut used their own classic styles to capture the serene beauty of the Jamuna riverside.

The artists would sometimes visit the river banks along with their tools and sit there to capture the moments. In other moments they were seen busy in the cozy rooms of the lively green resort. In lighter moments, they would tease each other over a joke or a story.

Not everything about the resort would inspire an artist. The food of the resort is probably the worst kind of highly priced food one would get in Bangladesh. Then again, artists generally hold a "never mind" attitude. Their post lunch or dinner mood was temporarily clouded by almost numb taste-buds. Luckily everyone had a good laugh in their stock to get over the after-tastes of a bad meal.

Among some of the works which I had the chance of peeking at the camp, some paintings of Hamiduzzaman, Rafiqunnabi and Hashem Khan instantly drew attention of others. Each of them captured different aspects of the mood of nature of the area. For instance, a boat painted by Hamiduzzaman captivates a cold, dark yet delightful river mood. Rafiqunnabi picks the perfect mood of a very foggy river morning. Hashem Khan captured the lush green landscape of the riverside along with feminine figures.

"Every artist made their work in their unique style and many of them came out brilliantly," Goutam Chakrabarti told The Daily Star after the camp was over. He adds that, Gallery Kaya will soon organise an exhibition of these works.


Copyright (R) thedailystar.net 2007