ART IS FOR TRANSFORMATION

In VISUAL ART by Sunara BegumLeave a Comment

Retracing the Eye is a solo exhibition by Sunara Begum of 21 etchings, carborundums and woodcuts that follow an intimate and poetic narrative.

To know yourself as the being underneath the thinker, the stillness underneath the mental noise, the love and joy underneath the pain, is freedom, salvation, enlightenment.
— Eckhart Tolle

Begum uses elemental materials drawn from the environment and her work is intrinsically connected to the landscape that she newly engages with. The colours and textures in her work have reminiscences of terracotta, earth pigment and draws from her indigenous culture.

Being invited to exhibit at the Lionel Wendt Gallery was a highlights and I felt extremely honoured and fortunate to be exhibiting in Sri Lanka for the first time in a gallery of my photographic icon, Lionel Wendt, one of the founders of the ’43 Group, a collective of contemporary Sri Lankan artists.

Begum’s visit to Sri Lanka was inspired by the work of her mentor, the renowned Sri Lankan photographer and filmmaker, Dunstan Perera, who first introduced her to the work of Julia Margaret Cameron. He also encouraged her to look into the ancient art and culture of his homeland including the rock cave temples, frescos and monuments in Polonnaruwa, Anuradhapura and Sigiriya.

My interest in the pioneering work of the 19th century Victorian photographer, Julia Margaret Cameron, inspired me to stage a new interpretation of my work, engaging and developing a timeless relationship with my images. I re-imagines the life of my silent subjects, over a century later, and the work is a symbol of untold stories. This exhibition suggests the power of reclaiming the silenced voice that is all too often written out of human existence.
A journey from home. Performances about life. Actions of everyday. Stories of all colours. Across borders. Of human struggles. Of love. Breaking stereotypes. A time between tradition and modernity. Re-inventing cultures and celebrating identity. Spirituality. Community. Identity. Things that keep us sane. We create art to make peace.

I come from a long line of sufi saints who brought Sufism to Bangladesh. It’s quite a spiritual approach; my work isn’t religious, it just reflects the way I am in my life.

About the Author
Sunara Begum

Sunara Begum

Sunara Begum is a visual artist and filmmaker whose work is perfectly placed between East and West. She uses the worlds of Film, Theatre, Photography and Text: I am a seeker of truth, a dweller in the unknown and a dreamer of the impossible. A visual-anthro-mythologist. My art expresses a universal spirit encompassing my sense of ancestral memory and ethnic identity in which the essence, form and textures of the past shape my interpretations of the present and sense of the future. Sunara’s website.

Copyright © Sunara Begum.

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