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    Volume 9 Issue 28| July 9, 2010|

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Seeking the Unspoiled Serenity of Nature

Fayza Haq

Rezaun Nabi, like most other artists today, sings of the importance of nature. “As we make mechanical and industrial progress, we spoil nature, and leave very little for the future generations. Man is filling up lakes and rivers, making buildings, but in this way losing the barks, branches leaves and grass. In my paintings I wish to preserve the beauty of nature that we can still find around us despite centuries of hacking up trees and ruining the waterways to make room for industrial growth. There is nothing more attractive than birds among the leaves and the sliding of clouds in the skies. The rushing of pure water in the rivers with its rich marine life should be preserved as much as the honey bees and the little twittering birds.

Rezaun Nabi combines reality with abstraction. Reza, with time, feels that realism is connected with abstraction, where simplicity and minimisation change forms and colours. It is the sound, waves, wind and life in the rivers that fascinate him greatly. The images in the darkness connected with river life profoundly intrigue him. The desire to capture moments after dark sees the inclusion of black and blue in his recent works. As seen in St Martin's Island, the Sundarbans area, shades of blue play a vital part in recreating the pure atmosphere around the waterways.

Beauty in Dark-2, acrylic on canvas, 2010.
Harmoney, acrylic on canvas, 2010.

His visit to Bhutan brings the painting with shades of Prussian green to bring in slopes of snow, with civilisation nearby in the forms of trees and houses. The exotic life underwater, with its swimming creatures with fins, the sand, stones, wet waving weeds, and cascading sound of waves is what he captures in his next creation, “Sound of waves”. “Kiss of colour” is an imaginative piece where two colours blue and purple glide and mingle with one another in an ecstatic embrace.

In “Untitled 7” some figures brought in brown, green and black. In the next piece, one finds birds done with gold and green. They appear to be sitting, standing and merging with a green backdrop. “Women” too, has figures that are suggested. For colour distribution and composition the background is left dark. He has played with textures, along with experimenting with light and dark shades. At times the figures are outlined with black or brown. A woman's figure riding a rickshaw is decorated with crescent moons and stars to give it an exotic touch.

Then we come across two portraits, one with more details of facial features and the other where the eyes and nose are merely suggested. In another painting there are more images of women and this time they are seen with trees. Land and water are also included in the composition. “Nature 3” has black branches on a tree trunk and bird forms, with tails hanging down are also suggested.

Even when there is little water in the rivers, the view can be beautiful as shown in the artist's creation through the gathering of different coloured cattle, the trees in the distance, waving, sloping land which is not hilly and yet not flat. There is a drawing-based representation of the same place where the artist shows cattle, people and tree clumps with swirls of blue. Presenting the interior of Rangamati, is the painting of water rushes, water plants, boats carrying laughing children, with houses in the distance. The artist brings in the kingfisher in green with the background in shades of yellow, evoking the colour of the mustard fields of Bengal. “Yellow field with white reeds” has the same dazzling jewel-like mustard crop flowers in mind, with rushes of “kash-phul”. Details of birds are introduced with sketches of black and brown.

Some quiet abstract pieces are seen with green and white. In them the artist tries to bring in the sound of the wind. He calls his painting “Rhythm of the rain”. Colours like vermilion, black and squiggles of white help the artist play with the texture and bring in a flower-like design. The colours swirl, merge, mingle and echo questions. -Where do tsunamis and other natural disasters originate? -What is man's role in them? -Has man been careless with nature's gifts?

My Agony, acrylic on canvas, 2010.
Transparent Water and..., acrylic on canvas, 2010.

He is trained in graphic design. Getting a chance to go to Europe, he studied as many art galleries and museums as he could. His work “Proshika” also made him aware of the need of preservation of our natural resources.

Rezaun Nabi has always been encouraged by how his father was a self-taught artist who sketched and painted at will. This inspired him and his brother Rafiqun Nabi greatly. The artist has had successful exhibitions in the US, Australia, Canada and Japan. He has four awards to his credit.

His solo exhibition “Immersed in Nature” at Bengal Gallery is on till July 13.

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