Salbhi Sumaiya: The artist whose art is heading to the Moon
In the bustling streets of Dhaka, Bangladesh, a young artist's journey ignited, leading her to paint her dreams upon the canvas of the cosmos. Salbhi Sumaiya's tale is one of resilience, inspiration, and a profound connection to both art and the stars. As a hard-of-hearing (HOH) individual, her artistry has transcended barriers, becoming a bridge between worlds.
"At the age of seven, I found my voice through painting. It wasn't just a hobby; it was a way for me to speak a language that everyone could understand—the language of art," Salbhi reflects.
Salbhi's artistic odyssey began when her parents stumbled upon her meticulous drawing of an aeroplane on a small blackboard. Recognising her innate talent, they enrolled her in a prestigious art school in Dhaka, where her creative spark ignited a lifelong passion. "Art became my sanctuary, a realm where I could freely express myself without the confines of words," she confides.
As her brush danced across canvases, Salbhi's journey led her from the narrow streets of Dhaka to the broader horizons of Canada. Her hearing impairment posed challenges, yet Salbhi's determination remained unshaken. "I enrolled in the LINC programme at CCS' Birchmount, honing my language skills and bolstering my confidence. Overcoming barriers became my second nature," she asserts.
But it wasn't just language that Salbhi mastered; she navigated the intricate world of entrepreneurship through CCS's Small Business Support Project. With unwavering support from her surroundings, Salbhi ventured into the realm of possibilities.
Then, a cosmic opportunity beckoned: the Lunar Codex project. A fusion of art and human exploration that resonated deeply within her. "The idea of leaving a lasting mark on the moon, a connection between humanity and the cosmos, ignited my imagination," Salbhi muses. Her artwork, a tribute to wildlife preservation, would transcend the confines of Earth, leaving an indelible message among the stars.
For those who have not heard about the Lunar Codex, it comprises four time-capsules filled with the works of more than 30,000 artists, writers, singers, and filmmakers from 157 different countries, which are being sent to the Moon as part of the massive project. The goal of this amazing project is to create a wide range of artistic mediums that will serve as an eternal testament to humankind's boundless ingenuity and artistic talent. The project is spearheaded by Canadian art collector and semi-retired physicist Samuel Peralta.
Learning that her art would journey to the moon was a blend of emotions—excitement, pride, and thankfulness, all at once," Salbhi shares. "When I got an email from Dr Samuel Peralta, the promoter of the project, explaining that my art was going to the moon, I felt both amazed and unsure if it was real. To dispel my uncertainty, I delved deeper into his background and explored his website. After doing so, I became certain that this was indeed a genuine opportunity," she continues to share, "I'd be the first artist from Bangladesh to represent my country on the moon. That was something to be really proud of. And then, to know that not just my art but also a powerful video, a Studio Tour of mine, would be there too, it felt like I had achieved something big."
As viewers on Earth and potential lunar visitors gaze upon Salbhi's artwork against the lunar expanse, a message of unity resonates. "My art reminds us that we're all part of a journey to explore, discover, and protect," she asserts. "The moon's allure, its mystique, connects with my art's message about taking care of our planet and its creatures."
Salbhi's lunar-bound masterpiece aims to inspire future generations. "Art and exploration go hand in hand. Through my art, I hope to ignite imaginations, nurturing a connection between art and science," she expresses, her eyes glinting with hope.
As her artwork embarks on its celestial journey, Salbhi Sumaiya showcases the limitless potential of human creativity. "This project has shown me that art has no boundary. It's like art can travel beyond borders, even beyond Earth," she states, her voice carrying a sense of wonder. With each brushstroke, she paints not just a picture but a legacy, bridging worlds and leaving an indelible mark on the cosmic tapestry.