Farhana Afroz Bappy is currently having a solo painting exhibition at Jatra Biroti, titled 'Deyal'. Mostly comprised of large abstract acrylic paintings, the exhibition showcases a significant body of work by the artist who has a degree in Printmaking from Charukola Institute of Fine Arts, Dhaka.
A gap of about two decades emerged during which life got in the way and she ended up not drawing or painting. Initially, she worked as a teacher and then as a fashion designer for many years. It has only been the last two or three years since when she has regularly taken to the paints and canvas all over again.
Throughout these years, she has gone through many changes in her style and technique and also in her thought patterns and philosophy, much of which is reflected in the current exhibition. Deyal, which means wall, is often interpreted as a barrier to the outside. However, Farhana mentions that it is not without walls that a home can be built. It is in this light, that Farhana views her current body of work: an accumulation of her life and experiences throughout the years that she did not paint, but grew as a human being, became a wife and then a mother to two children.
Sixteen of her exhibited paintings are in the series titled, Impression. She later followed up the series with another one called, Jolchhaya (hydraulic), that includes paintings in a smaller size, also in acrylic. Both of these exhibited series have a clear mark of Farhana's days in fashion design. The works have made use of the blocks used in block printing and a tie dyed effect, known as batik.
Most of the pieces are monochromatic, in primary reds, yellows and blues as well as warm brown hues, echoing the vegetable dyed fabric that is native to our culture. Farhana shows her strength in her use of colour with variations added to the saturation levels in her paintings. She makes vibrant hues and richness coexist with subtlety in the same artwork. Within the same medium of acrylic, she manages to create wash like impressions as well as make use of texture to make the paint stand out of the canvas in 3D effect. We see use of repeating patterns, florals and abstract brushstrokes and mark making, which surely go back to Farhana's days of training as a printmaker. The exhibition will run till December 15.