When you portray your visions, emotions, or anything you want to articulate with colours, you contribute to the most incredible legacy of humankind- the Art.
Colours elucidate so much around us that we fail to articulate. The setting sun mimicking an orange beacon, the sky in a whirl of clouds emulating a bowl of porridge turned upside down, the intricate shades of green on a leaf- leaves people to ponder over everything about everything.
The raging waves of a stormy sea captured with an amalgamation of blues and navy or the legendary artworks of the Italian Renaissance, from all our traces back to history to the modern invention of photography, it is all about colours; the beginning and the end, the blinding white, the consuming black and everything in between.
It is too easier to describe the pain and sufferings or any other excruciating emotions metaphorically, with colours. Art therapy or even literature often describe this concept, where colours present and indicate things between the lines.
One can go on to depict the heart-wrenching pain in terms of the beating heart, smeared by crimson and dark red and shattering like glass, coal pouring out of it, consuming everything around you. The pitch-black darkness forming an endless ocean of void, concealed amidst a camouflage of bright, vibrant colours- a scenario to depict the eye cannot truly decipher what goes on deep inside.
Similarly, colours turned into art can create masterpieces out of joy and mere imagination, the slight dimples when one smiles in cascading peach, orange, and brown, the tiny details of glee.
A 21-year-old talented young artist from Dhaka University Faculty of Fine Arts, Redwan Ahmed Kiron, who is in his second year but practised art for most of his life, provided the author with his views on colours, their relevance to art. He was inspired to be an artist by his grandfather, the revolutionary painter Hashem Khan, who contributed significantly to the Liberation War of Bangladesh with his paintings.
"By definition, colours are just pigments reflecting different spectrums of light. However, from the perspective of an artist, colours are what make up the world. It would be the absence of colours or an overwhelming splash of colours. By mimicking these colours on a canvas or paper, the artist expresses own interpretation of the world.”
“People generally assume colours only indicate the variety of pigments present, but in reality, it could also mean the absence of pigment as well. I think it is the patterns and shades that make up the colours of art and life as well," shared the young artist.
Colours can also represent a way of life. Zarin Subha Rodela, an emerging artist and a second-year Bangladeshi student at the School of Art, University of Brighton, United Kingdom, expresses her views and experience with the notion of embracing art through colours and so much more. She described how she correlates herself with painting.
“My life has been associated with art since forever. Over the years, my practice as an artist developed. And I started creating works that emphasise South Asian women and the struggles we face daily. I do not want to regard my art just as a beautiful piece but truly represent the ugly, true representation of women around us relating to social taboo.”
Art is, perhaps, the best way of representation of discrimination and all other anomalies around us. Colours have meaning in them and they tell stories. Playing with colours is the purest form of creativity and Zarin believes this is inborn, as she realised her skills after a successful exhibition in 2015. She also reasoned that creativity is abundant among the children in Bangladesh, who do not get proper orientation.
“So, many young people in our country, even small children, have so much creativity in them but barely ever get the chance to showcase their work to the masses. They post their wondrous work on social media. These people deserve representation on a larger platform and talented children deserve to have their art sold as well.”
“Through this thought, I embarked on a journey to start my organisation, ‘Art for Cause’ and hosted our first exhibition in 2018 in Drik Gallery. Our theme was representing the struggles of the ethnic group of Rohingya refugees.”
The exhibition presented the life of Rohingya refugees, their struggle, love and pain. The organisation donated 50 per cent of the total profit to the Rohingyas.
Later, Art for Cause hosted another art exhibition at the National Museum in 2019, regarding the souls who suffered in the fire outbreaks.
You see, colours make you realise the stark differences between the plaintiff observations you make and looking beneath what the mortal eye catches. Is the world all about dull singular colours like morbid black and white, or are there grey patches between them?
You can scream out your feelings of rage in fascinating shades of red on a canvas or your tranquillity with sprays of green and blue. After all, art can depict the best display of colours. However, art is not only limited to papers or canvas; it is everywhere starting from the cavemen who smeared hues of white stones on trees, caves, and so on to the modern digital amalgamation of colourful bliss.
These hues have always been a crucial form of communication ever since human beings discovered their appeal. It is safe to say that you can perceive everything around us through a myriad of colours, both exotic or bland.
The writer is a student pursuing her undergraduate degree in International Business and Marketing at North South University.