Displayed eloquently inside the EDGE Gallery and even outdoors, I spent hours appreciating paintings that touched subjects close to all of us. Finding myself surrounded by paintings that reacquainted me with the scenic beauty of Bengal, I was at my most blissful at the Sands of Time Exhibition. With works paying reverence to the common people, capturing the essence of their daily travails, offering glimpses of them in their most personal moments of rest and relaxation, the artist Jamal Ahmed demonstrates the grandeur of simplicity.
With 120 exhibitions completed, Ahmed, an alumnus of the Institute of Fine Arts (DU) is a leading figure within Realism, a genre of modern art depicting the real world and portraying stories of real people as close as possible to what is seen through the naked eye.
I felt that his masterpieces reassure the belief that art actually is for everyone. It does not discriminate nor does it divide. What it does however is pave the way for enriching our perspective, providing our thought process with insight and enables us to question ourselves, our surroundings. And if intellectual stimulation sounds too tedious a task for your leisurely hours, art can also serve to entertain you. While it enlightens, it also enables escape!
The interpretation illustrated the common people’s everyday reality is nothing short of remarkable. I was subconsciously drifting in and out of a riverine setting by a moody sea, forgetting the tranquil, modern ambience of the gallery. The artist’s sweeping strokes and supple textures will make you question whether in fact you are viewing a work created by hand or if you may be mistaking a painting to be a photograph – such is his excellence in beguiling his many longstanding, loyal admirers.
Whether a gallery-sprawling masterpiece or paintings more humbly framed and huddled into series sets, I could not help but appreciate the intricacy and detail invested into the creation of Jamal Ahmed’s lyrical subjects and exhilarating backdrops. You are likely to be left staring at a piece, adjusting your angle of sight by pacing backwards and forwards and tilting your head left to right, like the antennae of a vintage television set.
Don’t miss this rare opportunity to discover 60 evocative works of silent beauty celebrating ordinary lives and nature so captivating, you will not want to think about leaving this temporal journey. Relax and let your senses glide.
The Sands of Time exhibition has been extended and will now run till 2 December.