Portraits are considered one of the oldest forms of art. They evoke someone's personality and beauty, mingled with certain moments and memories.
Visual images, be it painting or photograph, can best render the expression and assertiveness of someone famous in art form.
Gallery Cosmos is showcasing different portraits of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in a two month-long group art exhibition titled "Sheikh Hasina: On the right side of history" featuring works by 21 artists, at Cosmos Centre in Malibagh, Dhaka.
As part of their year-long programme to celebrate the birth centenary of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the gallery hosted an art camp on Bangabandhu's eldest daughter.
The outcome of the art camp is now on display. The exhibition will remain open till February 12, 2021 and can only receive 20 visitors at any one time.
Visitors have been advised to wear masks all the time while visiting the exhibition and maintain appropriate distance from each other.
Out of a collection of more than 20 artworks, TBS picked three that stand out:
'Capturing a personal moment' by Ahmed Shamsuddoha
An amiable yet assertive artist Ahmed Shamsuddoha creates portraits of renowned personalities representing different eras.
Though prominent as a landscape painter of the 1980s, he eventually moved to surrealism in the beginning of the 1990s.
He has been greatly influenced by eminent surrealist painters Salvador Dali and Boris Vallejo.
His paintings are fresh and provide the spectators a sense of pleasure.
"I always try to capture a certain moment in my painting, especially while doing portraits. An image speaks a multitude of words, which remain silent. I try to arrest someone's personal feeling, gesture, smile and striking moment on canvas," said Ahmed Shamsuddoha.
He said, "The visage that I portrayed in the art camp suggests that perhaps someone came close to her during a busy schedule and she looked at the person with a smiling gesture. My painting is suggestive of that moment. Years ago, I also depicted another piece titled
'Chirodiner Bangabandhu' at an art camp organised by Dhaka Art Centre. The Father of the Nation was waving his hand in the painting. I tried to reflect his sublime image through the piece."
'Of blissful moment and memory' by Nasir Ali Mamun
In September 1986, the poet of camera Nasir Ali Mamun accompanied the incumbent Premier Sheikh Hanisa in an extensive journey to 11 southern districts to cover the national election against H M Ershad.
That was the first election in her political career as well.
"When we reached Patuakhali, Apa (Sheikh Hasina) was talking to others in a launch. It rained heavily that afternoon and a big rainbow appeared in the sky following the shower. It looked like a bold brushwork on a vast canvas of artist Shahabuddin Ahmed," said Nasir Ali Mamun.
"I told Apa I wanted to take a snap of her with the beautiful sight. She instantly became like a young girl and gazed at the beauty. I told her to look at the camera. Suddenly, a rush of wind blew her veil away. She tried several times to cover her head but failed. Eventually she smiled spontaneously in a jamdani sharee and I did not fail to capture that blissful moment," he said.
Besides, Nasir Ali Mamun did a black and white painting, assimilating the nuances of his self-portrait series with his memories of the PM.
'Portraying the inner vision' by Rasel Kanti Das
Promising artist Rasel Kanti Das, who is a lecturer at the department of Applied Art, Institute of Fine Arts, University of Chittagong, has tried to portray the inner vision of the premier in his painting.
Following the watercolour wash technique through applying a monochromic colour (brown) layer by layer on canvas, he completed the work with a dry brush technique.
"The technique helped me complete the work while keeping its freshness. The outcome was satisfactory. As it was a portrait, and not a theme-based work, I worked with transparent hues alongside opaque colours to create contrast in the composition," said Rasel Kanti Das.
"The look/vision of the premier is so interesting that it is suggestive of something going on in her mind. My prime focus was to depict her wonderful, deep and sensitive eyes on canvas in the art camp - which was a lifetime experience for me, to work with senior artists," he added.