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     Volume 9 Issue 40| October 15, 2010 |


 Cover Story
 Special Feature
 Art: Bengal Gallery’s Veritable Gems
 Art: Tale of a Nascent Artist
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Tale of a Nascent Artist


Nature and Life, woodcurving.

Welcome to a world where wood meets art, where carved woods tell stories of love and life, welcome to a world where cinder is colour and spirit is fragrance welcome to the aesthetic world of Sadia Sultana. Currently working as a designer (both fashion and interior) at Jatra, Sadia Sultana is one of those few eccentrics who dare to dedicate their lives to hold the torch of our native folk arts, of course with the touch of their creativity and signature marks. A postgraduate in “wood carving” media from “Charukala”, she represents the incipient young artists of Bangladesh.

There are seven different departments in Charukala. “I did my honours in crafts because that's where I got accepted” was Sadia's unfeigned answer to why she came in this line of career, “but when it came to narrowing down in the Masters I chose wood carving because it was the most challenging and painstaking media of crafts.” Making ornate and emblematic piece of art by carving woods is not an oven-fresh idea and that's where Sadia's crafts stand out. They are actually verdant; they add a new dimension in the arena of wood carving, literally. Sadia has ventured into giving a three-dimensional essence in her crafts. Her craftwork is a marriage between woodcarving and sculptures. Human figures, flora and fauna protruding from the cardboard create a semblance of a materialistic reality.

When it comes to woods, colouring them is another challenge an artist faces. Sadia vanquished her challenge by using cinder, kerosene, methyl spirit, Enamel and Prussian colour. “I take hours to make the colours so that they suit my wood. I have to make all of it by myself, that's actually how most of us do it” As a result her art-pieces look vibrant and yet au natural. “I even use insecticides in my colours to give an addition coat of protection to my wooden crafts”.

Circle of Life, Serigraph.

It's not just the unique combination of sculpture and wood or the maverick colours that makes Sadia's art work redoubtable. Engraved in those woods are stories, some quite placid and some are abstract. Some stories are inspired from the artist's own life and experiences and some are not stories at all, “they merely are my thoughts, just random, subconscious thoughts.” Being an admirer of the Bengali folk arts, Sadia has always tried to make the native arts part of her crafts; sometimes by taking essence of it or sometimes just by following the patterns and strokes of folk arts. “I remember playing with puppet dolls. You'll find resemblance of those dolls in my human figures.” Another signature mark of her work is its indissoluble relation with nature, “You cannot separate human and nature” says the romantic nature lover. “When you fall in love, nature becomes beautiful and enjoyable. If you are sad, pouring rain sounds like a mourning lady.” Such romanticism is quite visible in her art works. Her work is like telling stories through some incised woods; here the language is nature and words are people.

It takes hours of meticulous carving, magnanimous patience and inexhaustible strive for paragon to compose each piece of art. Sadia Sultana loves going through all of it for the passion she has for her art, yet she says “I won't call myself an artist. Artists are much more generous, broad-minded and wiser than I am. I aspire to become one, but there's long way to go.” Perhaps that's the kind of promise and humility our nation wants and needs in the frontiers of all aspects today.



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