Making art is an intensely personal experience while putting it out for the world to see is quite the opposite and artist Ayesha Sultana explores juxtapositions akin to these and more — some very corporal, some very metaphoric — in her third solo for Experimenter, aptly titled Bare Bones.
Exploring relationships between body and stillness, breaking down her process of recreating an intimate moment in her work and often stretching its infinitesimal capacity by testing physical and emotional limits, the Dhaka-based artist has produced a body of work that is minimal to the eye, yet profound in its layers of meaning. As if painting what catches the fancy of her eyes and heart, the exhibition showcases canvases that sometimes show a patch of a delightfully blue sky with wisps of clouds and sometimes, the fragility of life reflected on the texture of the bark of a tree. Capturing a significant part of the breadth of human emotions, Sultana tries to show how “to live with oneself and to paint in expressing this solitude, one has to cut off the hand that offended, cut, slice, peel, scrape, and tear away, until what one is left with, are stripped-down bones”.
The paradoxes in her vision are fashioned much after what the average human being also experiences, thereby making Bare Bones intensely relatable in its emotional quotient. Sometimes Sultana’s canvas reflects hope in the form of uninterrupted and calming blue while sometimes, the leaves of a tree are painted against the sky, only interrupted by wires strung across the scenery, much like our city skies.
The exhibition is available for viewing at Experimenter’s Ballygunge Place gallery till April 10 (11am to 6pm, except Sundays and government holidays).