By Shahman Moishan
Art can facilitate the personal realm as a composed form of signs. A unique vision of employing the colours, lines and textures creates personal semiotics on canvas. Sultana Mariam’s paintings explore a personal world that signifies a feminine sense of belonging to the environment, a flux of the inner world experienced and filtered by a woman’s organic sensorial system.
Mariam senses the external world, not through the empirical method but through her intuitive faculty that recreate intimate earth. The necessity of intimacy inevitably transforms her images into an abstract language. The abstraction that predominates in her paintings immediately achieves an additional semi-figurative feature. The figure’s outline often exists in her abstract world, which signifies a liberated feminine being seeking a symbiotic relationship with the natural world. Therefore, the audience of her artworks witnesses an empathetic tie between the artist’s subjective feelings and the world’s objective phenomena. This inter-dependent relationship Mariam celebrates is rooted in the rigorous exploration of a woman’s emotion. The French existentialist philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre argues that “the emotions are a way of apprehending the world”. Similarly, Mariam paints her emotion to define how she desires the world and what she approves of her dream of an alternative cosmos.
Mariam’s paintings benefit from the bright colours and curve lines to explore a choreographic painting pattern that offers a metaphorical significance where the impressionistically created female body is mutated into the vast existence of nature. However, she creates a monodrama on her canvas where the artist herself performs as a half-protagonist while the natural world itself appears as the other half of the central character. The romantic vision of the artist often incorporates metropolitan signs, for instance, the alphabets, to remind her audience of the contemporary dimension of eternal life, a reflection of everyday living. The indication of reality creates a playful balance between the artist’s subjective feelings and the context or the materialistic world she lives in.
Sultana Mariam comprehends the organic relationship between the world and life through the movement of line and the symphony of colour. Therefore, the artist creates a sensuous sphere of living that seeks transformed beauty, organic truth, and ecstasy.
Shahman Moishan: Art Critic and Dramatist. Doctoral Researcher, School of English, Drama and Creative Studies, University of Birmingham, England. Assistant Professor (on leave), University of Dhaka, Bangladesh.