Jamal Ahmed of the Faculty of Fine Arts, Dhaka University, who inaugurated an art display “Nature and People close to Nature” at Alliance Francaise on June 6, had fulsome words of praise for the artist, Apurba Ranjam Biswas.
“In the early nineteenth century the artist, graphic designer and architect revealed the theme of the world forcefully. An artist feels that our country is a hub of beauty. A pathway, paddy field, a small hut has formed an art space, which Jibanananda Das would agree to and so would Michael Madhusudan Dutt. Our subaltern people such as farmers, fishermen and wood collectors are closely related to nature. I have tried to tell the tale mixed with allegory. As a result my work strives to combine the beauty of nature and people,” says Apurba.
The artist's “Nature and People”, an acrylic on canvas, shows people going about with umbrellas, while the place is covered with banana trees. The paper has been painted turquoise blue, green, yellow and brown, and appears like some exotic gem. His other somewhat abstract piece has huts, pathways and trees where the entire area is painted vermilion, bottle green and yellow ochre.
Another such piece of semi-abstraction has patches of yellow ochre and duck-yellow surrounded by emerald green and an image of a tree. There are flecks of ruby red all over the piece. Along with white, there are vermillion and white. There is navy blue and pale blue at the front. Another combination of colours and lines plus flecks is the piece with variations of turquoise blue and paler shade of blue with white and vermilion squiggles all over.
On another acrylic piece on paper, which forms the cover of the brochure, are green leaves to the right, a beautiful yellow flower in the centre and the circular full moon above. There are white fishes with red and black criss-crosses on them below the flower. Above are four dainty white birds, circling the pale moon .There are huts and trees also to be seen in the yellow ochre patch to the right of the painting.
In one of Apurba's collection of more realistic pieces, we see a man seated comfortably on a bolster while the wife, clad in a brown sari waiting outside amidst trees. Meanwhile a bare-bodied toiling farmer goes about planting saplings in the brown field with green trees and his household in the backdrop.
In another piece we have a cowherd playing the pipe to soothe the burnt-umber coloured cows. There are several houses and trees against the backdrop and layers of grass in different shades of green. The approaching, gathering storm can be felt in the slowly darkening sky in the background.
In the third creation of acrylic on paper, there is the full moon at the back and two boats afloat on water. Near at hand are dainty shrubs with various types of leaves. Somewhere along the middle are bright patches of colours including vermilion, yellow and green. In the last fold of land, near the sky are houses and trees in the forms of white flakes.
A fourth item of interest has boats, hedges, trees in the background and rain falling over the hedges, boats and houses. The trees and houses at the back are also an integral part of the painting.