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     Volume 12 |Issue 01| January 04, 2013 |


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Anika Hossain


Enigma 2
Looking Back 2

The Bangladeshi art scene is constantly evolving as it adapts itself to global influences that introduce new and exciting forms of artistic expression, to our aspiring artists. Whenever a new medium of art is discovered, there is great enthusiasm to learn and experiment with it. The beginning of 2013 will bring with it an interesting new prospect, in the form of wax.

Shayema Rahim, a Bangladeshi artist residing in Dallas, Texas for the past fifteen years, has discovered an ingredient, which when added to her paintings, makes them unique and fascinating. “Encaustic is one of the medias that I have learnt about and am still exploring,” says the artist who studied the basics of art at Zia's Art Gallery in Dhaka. “I had a private tutor who was a student of the Fine Arts College in Dhaka. I have also done some workshops at Dallas to learn some new styles and techniques. This technique (Encaustic) was notably used in the Fayum mummy portraits from Egypt around 100-300 AD, in the Blachernitissa and other early icons, as well as in many works of 20th-century American artists, including Jasper Johns and Fernando Leal Audirac.”

Encaustic is done with heated beeswax to which coloured pigments are added. “The liquid/paste is then applied to a surface—usually prepared wood, though canvas and other materials are often used. I used wood panel for all these works. I like this media because it is unique and fun,” explains the artist.

Rahim had never aspired to become an artist, “It just happened. I believe I got my artistic side from my mother, no doubt about that.

I talk with my brush and paints in silence. There were many things in my life that made me unhappy for years and I shared my helpless feelings or frustrations through my canvases, colours and brush strokes.”

Rahim works on still life paintings but enjoys the abstract work more as it allows her to get carried away with her feelings. “My inspiration for my work is mostly my emotions. If I have to name my most favorite painting so far, I will say it is 'I don't look back,' it's done on paper with layers of tissue, acrylic and pastel.

Enigma 1

Another of my favourite pieces is 'Enigma One,' in which I used encaustic.”

Rahim has so far exhibited her work in several art shows in Dallas.

“I have done a few exhibitions with Plano Art Association, Alzheimer's Association of Dallas, Texas Women's Caucus for Art (TWC), Autism Association, Dallas Museum of Art Exhibition 2011, Annual Art show at Dallas Encaustic Center, Women's Rights Forum's Exhibition and I have done two magnet art exhibitions in England.”

Her future plan for her career is to take her art to the next level and work for a cause. She aspires to send a message through her paintings to people of all races and ethnicities. “I want to always continue to work for a good cause, like hold fund raising exhibitions for cancer research, and assistance for battered women. It has been on my wish list to hold an exhibition in Dhaka and now that wish will be fulfilled.”

Shayema Rahim will be displaying her work with Encaustic at the Edward M Kennedy Centre in Dhanmondi, Dhaka from the 2nd till the 9th of January 2013. All art enthusiasts are invited to witness an exciting new form of art.

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