Empowered by the spirit of the Language Movement, COLOURS, a collective of contemporary female artists, recently organised an art exhibition at Studio 6/6, Mohammadpur. Titled “Ekusher Chetonay”, the exhibition began on February 25, and will go on till March 6. It was inaugurated by renowned artist Professor Naima Haque from University of Dhaka and actor Bhaskar Bandyopadhyay.
The participants of the exhibition are: Shaila Akhter, Rehana Yasmin, Rifat Jahan, Rebeka Sultana, Monira Sultana, Monidipa Dashgupta, Morzia Begum, Mukti Bhowmik, Nishat Chowdhury, Farhana Afroz, Farzana Islam. This year aside from the members, there are three guest participants – Sulekha Chowdhury, Salma Zakia Brishty and Farzana Rahman Bobi.
Some paintings on display celebrate the glory of the Language Movement and portray the hope, while others mourn the sacrifices. All of them are created by women. Farhana Afroz, Secretary of COLOURS, spoke about the group. “All of us were batch mates back in Charukola. Many of us were distanced from painting due to our own busy lives, be it our jobs or familial commitments. Eventually, we decided to paint together once more. We wanted to get over the anxiety we felt from the pandemic,” she said.
COLOURS was formed in 2015 as a means to end the long hiatus that many of these painters were faced with. For Shaila Akhter, a member of the group, it felt like coming back home. After graduating, she worked as a teacher and an art therapist, but she became detached from painting. ” After all these years, I finally feel as if I am back to my own place,” she said. Now, she is a full-time painter.
Nishat Chowdhury was originally a student from the Ceramics Department at DU, but that did not stop her from painting. “Ekush for me is a subject of joy, not a tragedy. It shows how far we can go, as people.”
“As female artists, the hurdles they had to cross were difficult enough for them to stay away from painting for a long time. But now they have finally done it, and they are here to stay. It makes me very proud,” said Professor Naima Haque about the painters, who were formerly her students.