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     Volume 4 Issue 67 | October 14, 2005 |

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Beauty Governs

Spring Landscape, mixed media

It is the impressionists of France who first created an art movement just by deciding to capture the play of light on landscapes. Gulshan Hossain, on the other hand, is an abstractionist who encapsulates that same idea into colour and form. Her last exhibition titled "A sky full of light", at Bengal Gallery of Fine Arts, is an exercise in capturing the essence of nature seen in a bountiful light. Though her expression is heavily gestured, the source of her inspiration can be read in the bursting textural formations, vivid colours as well as forms. "I have developed an eye for nature, and spring, autumn and monsoon is the subject that inspired me the most," says the artist about the works of her solo exhibition.

Though she is an avid abstractionist, her work sometimes incorporates elements that bear the suggestions of the recognisable world. Faint suggestions of faces and leaves make her abstract propositions more inclined to romanticism. Her romantic attitude is riddled with literary references. In many a painting Gulshan leads the viewers back to literature. Each of her title is borrowed from either Rabindranath Tagore's romantic take on natural phenomenon or Jibananda Das's surreal vision.

Ancient Poems-11, mixed medida

"I start with a line from the poets and then make some sketches that eventually help me to create the final image on canvas," says the artist. As she is faithful to the initial sketch or layout that she makes, the spurt of energy that she creates by exploring textural aspects of the paint remains well contained. She seldom lets the explosive quality of texture to take over much space of her canvas. She uses the ploy sparingly. As each of her painting follows the initial composition that she had first made on paper, the configurations of her paintings seem well thought-out. Here, perhaps, her method undermines the moment of epiphany that one is visited by during creation. Perhaps Gulshan needs to explore beyond the bounds of composition and let go of her rules that she set in the initial layouts.

But, however controlled the method of this young artist is, her use of Indian red in three big canvases testifies her boldness to break the confine of any preconceived idea. "I have been inspired by cave paintings where the Indian red is copiously used," says Gulshan. She travels around the world a lot and that has made this self-taught artist inclined to experimentation. She calls her red big canvases "Ancient Poems" and they were the predominant force in the solo exhibition of this forty-plus artist.

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