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Narail children set to create 1600 feet long painting

  • Published at 12:42 am July 17th, 2019
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Children from indigenous and poor families are tirelessly painting their dreams and perceptions in the canvas, every Fridays and Saturdays, free of cost, assisted by their teachers at Shilpanjali in Narail Dhaka Tribune

Students of 'Shilpanjali,' a free mobile art school, along with 5 other art schools are participating in this groundbreaking event, painting on Curtis paper

Over 200 children in Narail came together to create a painting, which is expected to be about 1600 feet long, and three feet wide.

Students of "Shilpanjali," a free mobile art school, along with 5 other art schools are participating in this groundbreaking event, painting on Curtis paper.

Legendary painter SM Sultan's disciple Prof Bimanesh Biswas, retired assistant professor of the department of fine arts in Khulna University, founded the free art school, Shilpanjali, and took the initiative almost three years ago.

Bimanesh said: "We initiated the artwork on December 2, 2016. The students have been painting from their own imaginations based on different themes, which included rural life, mosque, fishing, bride-groom, computer, and mobile tower."

When asked how he came up with the innovative idea for this painting, he said: "I have been teaching these students for the last couple of years. They used to paint on A4 sized paper, which cannot be stored. So I selected this bigger canvas to preserve their paintings. I hope the work will be finished by the end of this year."

Shilpanjali also arranged mobile exhibitions with the digital print of the paintings in 24 schools of Jessore, and Narail. They are planning a big exhibition at the end of the year.

Prof Bimanesh is assisted by his son Heera Biswas, a fine arts graduate of Rabindra Bharati University, Kolkata, in teaching the children, and overseeing the artwork twice a week. Two other students, Antara Bairagi, and Soumitra Mastabi, from SM Sultan Bengal Charukala Mahavidyalaya lent their hand to materialize the vision of the professor.

Children from indigenous and poor families are tirelessly painting their dreams and perceptions in the canvas, every Fridays and Saturdays, free of cost, assisted by their dedicated teachers.

Bimanesh has been doing all this at his own cost, providing free pencils, and painting books to the students who are mostly from indigenous families. His wife Mamata Biswas also contributes to this noble cause by providing meals and taking care of the children.

When asked about the whole family’s involvement in the endeavour, Mamata Biswas said: "I married Bimanesh when he was a struggling artist. I always believed in his vision, and things that make him happy I always wanted to be a part of that happiness."

Bimanesh's inspiration came from his mentor, renowned Bengali avant-garde artist SM Sultan. He was a direct student of the legendary artist and was succeeded by Sultan's dream of providing opportunities to children from all social classes to express themselves through painting.  

Bimanesh acknowledged Sultan's blessings to be the driving factor in all of his endeavours. He said: "I owe it to my mentor for the dream he embedded in me to do something for the children. If I lacked his blessings, I would not be able to embark on such a venture."

Malay Kumar Kundu, district president of Sommilito Sangskritik Jote, saying that this was a proud moment in the history of our cultural, wished the children success on their endeavours.