Nazia Andaleeb Prema's current exhibition at Alliance Francaise gallery contains a mass of gold and black. Andaleeb explains, “I want to give a new dimension to my work. Gold and black are colours which artists often wish to avoid. I want to take my work into a different direction. Black actually has many hues in it if you look closely. Earlier I used black with other colours. Now I combine other colours on my basic of black. The gold is there to diversify one's attention span and make the painting more vibrant. I'm veering into something new, subject wise, and as regards colour composition, I'm now doing paintings which are a far cry from my work which has gone earlier.”
Andaleeb says her art is not limited to her painting only: the whole creative process, the elements, experience and artist's journey make up the art work. She takes paintings beyond the rectangular frames in her search of new horizons in abstract art. In her transition period, she has used different colours and different materials. She has included items like a high-heeled shoe, electric wires, and a pair of glasses in her work to give it the effect of installation. “I want to shift my paintings closer to real life,” says Andaleeb. She is always in quest of something new and does not rest even though what she did before was a success.
Taking advantage of her experience of her travels in her eight residencies, she pauses to ask, “Can we really capture the true meaning of things? My intellect and my thought, as depicted in my work, rarely follow a straight path. Aren't we all caught in a web of maze searching for the way out? I've tried to weave a common thread through the varied paths. I hope it will lead you through a labyrinth of meditation and deep examination.”
“An artist,” says Andaleeb, “changes the space around him/ her, as Alok Roy does with his amazing sculptures. Paintings sometimes reflect the emotional turns in the life of an artist.” Andaleeb lost her father, and had many vicissitudes in her life, and her present diving into abstraction is to reflect the many occasions of pain in her life. Through abstractions, she interprets life, living and the purpose behind existence. “An abstraction speaks for itself,” she insists, “It is an inner strength.”
She says that the artists Soulages and Bosch influence her. From Bangladesh, Mohammed Kibria and Safiuddin Ahmed remain her favourites, along with Shishir Bhattacharya. Tracey Amin and Shireen Nishat also go to formulate her style.
Taking part in workshops, Andaleeb has been to Sri Lanka, India (New Delhi and Kolkata), USA (New Jersey and New York), Japan and Thailand.
“The best part of the workshops is the exchange of ideas and views with artists from numerous countries, which naturally goes to widen one's vision,” she says.