We often spend our weeks rushing around focusing so much on our everyday commitments, whether it's our job, school, or ticking off daily errands, that we hardly have a chance to relax. When we are overwhelmed with the burdens of a busy lifestyle, actually embracing our creativity can help us reduce stress and make us feel better. Bearing that in mind, young artist Madiha Athar Khan started “Art for the Soul,” a platform for art enthusiasts to try out paint pouring or fluid art, a form of art that includes using acrylic colours with a runny consistency and swirling techniques to make interesting patterns on canvases.
Madiha, a Computer Science student from BRAC University, began getting into fluid art in 2015.
She made plenty of abstract artworks on her own and soon realised that she wanted to share her interest in art with others.
“I was able to do fluid art without being a trained artist, so I saw no reason why other people can't do it,” Madiha explains. She hosted her first fluid painting workshop in August 2017, which was met with hugely encouraging reactions. “I actually ran out of canvases at one point during the first workshop! I was happy and surprised that so many people showed interest,” she adds. She then arranged a second workshop in January 2018, and one this June as a part of “Soulfullment,” an art festival held at Jatra Biroti. “People in Dhaka, especially the young population, hardly have much to do other than go out to eateries, so I wanted to offer something that would help them channel their creativity. Fluid art has many calming effects as well,” she says.
She further shares her thoughts on the pros and cons of being an artist in Bangladesh. “Nowadays, I am afraid that art and cultural events are becoming more about the entertainment and the meet-ups, and less about the fine arts. I don't think people are really focusing on the artistic expertise."
Nevertheless, Madiha believes that artists in Bangladesh now have plenty of ways to create their own opportunities, network with different people and gain exposure.