An exhibition titled, Reverie, concluded at Drik Gallery on August 20. The exhibition solely focused on empowering young artists and opening doors to those who would typically not get the platforms to showcase their work. It was organised by Ehteshamul Bari and Akash Chowdhury, two A-level students who are also artists. They met at a previous exhibition where both of them were participating artists. Chowdhury and Bari felt that it is really difficult for those without experience to find the platforms they need to grow as artists. With an objective to create more opportunities for budding artists, they brought together 46 participants through word of mouth and social media for Reverie.
The artworks on display ranged from pencil and charcoal sketches to paintings in water colour, acrylic and oil. From traditional natural landscapes to bold expressionistic strokes, the artworks may have been created by young people, but their voices were loud in expressing themselves. In each piece, it was palpable what the artist was influenced by. Some works were definite results of living in the contemporary era with aspects of pop culture incorporated in them while others spoke of an idealistic loyalty to tradition. Several of the artworks indicated an artist daring to break the rules while also learning them.
“The incentive to organise this exhibition grew stronger due to an unfortunate incident that took place last summer,” says Bari. “As an A-level student, I had picked art as one of my subjects. Before sitting for the test, we got to know that certain influential artists had approached British Council to discontinue this exam in Bangladesh. Thankfully, since all the examinees protested, we were able to sit for the exam.” It is indeed disheartening to see that instead of lifting the youth up, the influential and the established in the field of art are rather focused on closing doors for the talented new generation.
A splendid youthful energy was present both in the atmosphere and the exhibited artworks at the gallery. The age range of the exhibitors was between 15 to 20 years. It is important that organisers like Bari and Chowdhury keep doing what they love, so that a new generation of creators continue the process of enriching the arts and culture of our country.