Jafrin Gulshan, an intense print maker, went into print-making because that is what her teachers Abul Barq Alvi and Rafiqun Nabi selected for her. This was 2005 and she had just joined the Faculty of Fine Arts at DU where she learnt block making, by relief process, etching and lithography. These are the three mediums she went into. When one uses stone and grain --- this is just to create a surface, on which the picture will be made, she says. In the wood block print and the intaglio process, she says, you have to cut the wood, and in the metal, which one scratches, she says --- this is called etching; and one scratches on the metal with the needle, and then bites it in acid. The colour comes much later, according to the imagination of the artist, she says.
“Bit by bit one puts on the colours" explains Jafrin. "Using press colours, wiping as one progresses. Next one puts it in the machine and presses it and it comes out as print on paper. In the case of multi-coloured prints one plate is divided, and the colours are put on as the artist plans. Both woodcut and etching can be done in various plates. Lithography has silicon or sand grains to create sensitivity between the stone blocks. This has to be painted with oil-based glass- marker or 'tush', a kind of ink. In 'tush' one can get a water-colour effect, says the young print maker. After this there should be light nitric acid bite. Jafrin says. “During the making of a picture there should be paper on which the print is taken" says Jafrin. "If more than one colour is wanted, one has to prepare the stone that many times. One would say that litho, woodcut and etching are not easy to handle,” says Jafrin.
She has worked in all three media, but more often than not she goes in for etching and lithography. To get the stone, one must go to the print making section in the Fine Arts Institute in DU, she says. She began in 2005 and ended in 2013. It took her nine years to complete her honours and masters. The usual session jams have to be considered. For her higher studies she wishes to go overseas, specially to Japan.
In her subjects, she gives priority to her own experience. If one has not gone into the depths of the life of a rickshaw–puller, she says for instance, one cannot paint his life.
She had Abul Barq Alvi, Rokeya Sultana and Mahmudul Haque, and Anisuzzaman Anis as guides.
Jafrin is preoccupied with the female figure, she has presented their pictures. The figure might have a veil in front and be nude at the back. She wanted to create a contradictory situation. She does not believe that clothes can brand a woman. In the quest to maintain the national identity she has worked with the lotus flower. This could be in a vase, rather than a pond. Another symbolic work which she has experiment with, is the safety-pin which she has used to symbolize the insecurity of women. Similarly she has used the book to symbolizes the need for enlightenment of women, for whom obtaining degrees is not all.